Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton today met with The Rural Woman Cooperative CEO Rebel Black to discuss how a $348,740 National Careers Institute grant will be used for a project to increase the number of women in the agricultural industry.
Rural women in the Parkes electorate will have more access to career pathways and opportunities thanks to a new project funded by the Australian Government through the National Careers Institute (NCI).
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton congratulated The Rural Woman Cooperative Limited which has received $348,740 in funding through the NCI to run a project aimed at increasing agricultural workforce participation for women re-entering the workforce.
“This is great news for women across the Parkes electorate who might be looking to get back into the workforce, to revamp their career, or to upskill and reskill for their dream job,” Mr Coulton said.
“Women have never been more needed to fill the plethora of roles currently available in agriculture, so this project will help to tap into this need and boost female participation in the industry.
“This funding is all about helping women at all career stages to make better connections between their education and training and succeed in their chosen career.”
The Rural Woman Cooperative CEO Rebel Black said the Reactivating Women: Digital Mavens in Transforming Agriculture’s Future project will provide the opportunity for more than 224 rural women to receive tailored career re-entry support through coaching, connection to role models, professional networking and formal recognition through micro-credentialing and university education pathways.
The collaborative project is being delivered in all states across Australia, in partnership with Dairy Australia, Australian Wool Innovation and the University of New England.
“Capacity to participate in the workforce provides wellbeing, agency and financial security to individuals which has a ripple effect on communities,” Ms Black said.
“This program will enable over 200 rural women to positively impact their families, communities, workplaces and industries.
“The Rural Woman Cooperative is a member-led community of practice which means we provide solutions for the people by the people. By tailoring this program to the individual participants, we will build lifelong learning and intergenerational impact.”
Round three of the NCI Partnership Grants program offered $10 million to fund 42 new projects that focus on increasing opportunities for women, which was also a key aim of the Government’s 2021–22 $1.9 billion Women’s Economic Security Package.
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, said the Government is committed to seeing more women share in opportunities to boost their careers as the Australian economy continues to strengthen.
“The Australian economy is firing as employment and participation hit record highs and the unemployment rate has fallen to 4 per cent this February, so there has never been a better chance to strengthen your career prospects,” Minister Robert said.
“These new projects will help women in the Parkes electorate, and around the country, to get the most out of their careers and it’s great that women around Australia are already benefiting from our strong economy, with the female participation rate rising to reach a new record high of 62.4 per cent in February 2022.”
Minister for Women’s Economic Security, Senator the Hon Jane Hume, said successful projects were chosen through a robust assessment process.
“We received such a high number of applications to this empowering initiative, so we know just how strong interest is from a variety of groups – from training organisations and universities, to community groups, industry bodies and local government – to deliver projects that improve opportunities for women,” Minister Hume said.
“It’s easy to lose touch with workplace practices. For many women returning to work these projects will help bring them up to speed on the kind of career pathways available to them.
“They will provide information and advice on how to reach their career goals, particularly women in non-traditional industries and occupations, or industries where women are under-represented, including at senior levels.”
Two previous funding rounds of the NCI Partnership Grants have seen a total of $10.42 million awarded to 28 projects, which are now in progress.
Information on the successful organisations chosen to deliver round three projects can be found at: www.dese.gov.au/nci