The government has announced a £1.5 million fund to help tackle the gender pay gap.
Amber Rudd, Minister for Women and Equalities, has announced the fund, which aims to support people back into work after time out caring.
The fund will offer grants to projects, which help people to return to work in the private sector. These projects could help returners update their skills, provide other training, or support businesses to increase employment opportunities for returners.
The fund will prioritise projects that focus on small and medium enterprises, employers outside London, and projects that support returners at all skill levels. This is part of the government’s wider strategy to develop the evidence base on what may help to close the gender pay gap.
Alongside the fund, a toolkit and guidance have been created to support companies that would like to employ returners. The guidance, which was developed by Timewise and Women Returners, is aimed at employers across sectors and of all sizes. The toolkit, sponsored by Vodafone, explains the business benefits of employing returners.
Speaking about the fund, Rudd said, “It is truly striking that nearly 90 per cent of people out of paid work because they are caring for the home or family are women.”
“Too often people struggle to get back into paid work after taking time out to care for others.”
“That is a huge loss not only to those individuals, but to our economy and to businesses all over the country.”
“That’s why I’m delighted to announce this government will be launching a £1.5 million fund to support people, particularly women, back into work after time out looking after children and other relatives.”
“By offering meaningful work that pays, the fund will give people who want to return to employment the opportunity to use their valuable skills, talents and experience.”