Victims of domestic abuse, homelessness and drug abuse who are struggling to get back into work are to be given a boost with a £500,000 pot of funding, launched by the minister for women and equalities.
The money will be used to fund programmes that support vulnerable people back into the workplace through training and work placements.
It will be available to both men and women, however equalities minister Penny Mordaunt emphasised the need to support marginalised women who are struggling to return to work.
The funding was first announced in a speech by Mordaunt last November, where the minister outlined a shift in focus for the government away from increasing female representation in the boardroom to increasing equality in lower-paid and lower-skilled jobs.
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At the time, another £100,000 of funding was announced for women with no work history, however no further details have been released around this.
Speaking yesterday about the launch of the funding for returners, Mordaunt said: “For too long, caring responsibilities, language barriers or the terrible impacts of domestic abuse have held many women back from having the freedom, support and choice to do what they want to do.
“I want all these women to be given the chance to reach their full potential, which is why we are investing in them to grow their skills and their confidence, so they feel ready to return to work when they want to.”
Government figures show there are around 1.8 million women in the UK who are currently economically inactive because they are caring for their home or family, eight times the number of men. Women also make up nine out of 10 potential returners to work.
“By supporting women at all stages of their lives, we are tapping into previously ignored talent, addressing gender inequality in the workplace and helping our economy grow,” said Mordaunt.
The pot will also support people who speak little or no English, have mental or physical health issues, and ex-offenders, among other groups that have problems finding work. It will be open for charities and organisations in England running relevant programmes to bid for grants.