The 2020 Federal Budget includes a ton of inclusions for its new JobMaker scheme. This includes economic security packages spefically for women, and one is aimed at STEM.
Budget 2020 x Women in STEM
According to the 2020 Budget papers the Second Women’s Economic Security Package will provide $231 million over four years. A total of $25.1 million will be used specifically for a Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)Industry Cadetship program.
This program aims to “support 500 women working in STEM industries to complete an Advanced Diploma through a combination of study and work-integrated learning experiences.”
Details around what this will actually entail and who will be eligible are currently scarce. However, we can assume this is all part of the Coalition’s 10-year plan for women in science, which was first announced as part of the 2018 Budget.
At the time the government said this aimed to “set out a long–term strategy for increasing female involvement in STEM education and careers.”
Here’s a list of the other inclusions in the Second Women’s Economic Security Package:
- $90.3 million over three years from 2020-21 for concessional work test arrangements for Paid Parental Leave in response to COVID-19. Specifically, relaxing the Paid Parental Leave work test for births and adoptions that occur between 22 March 2020 and 31 March 2021 to allow parents to qualify for the payment if they have worked in 10 of the last 20 months, instead of 10 of the last 13 months, preceding the birth or adoption of a child.
- $47.9 million over four years from 2020-21 to increase grants for the Women’s Leadership and Development Program, including funding for the Academy of Enterprising Girls and Women Building Australia.
- $35.9 million over five years from 2020-21 (including $6.5 million in 2024-25) to increase the number of co-funded grants to women-founded start-ups under the Boosting Female Founders Initiative and to provide access to expert mentoring and advice for women entrepreneurs.