FEE-FREE VOCATIONALTRAINING FOR SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

FEE-FREE VOCATIONALTRAINING FOR SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

Survivors of domestic violence and family violence will be eligible for fee-free vocational training under Smart and Skilled, in a measure designed to help people across NSW gain financial independence and stability.

The program, which will begin from 1 July 2016, is an extension of the fee-free scholarship scheme under Smart and Skilled, the NSW Government-supported vocational training program.

Minister for Skills John Barilaro said that fee-free scholarships would encourage survivors of domestic and family violence and their eligible dependents to gain a qualification and help them to enter the workforce, upskill or change careers.

“Fleeing domestic violence can be the most challenging decision anyone makes – and we know sadly many people stay in dangerous homes due to a lack of financial independence,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Training and education to get into the workforce is a great way to support the most vulnerable in our community seeking to rebuild their lives.”

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward said these scholarships will help improve employment opportunities for survivors of domestic violence, so they can take back control.

“Having a stable and fulfilling job is a crucial step in gaining financial independence, which is important for people who have left a violent relationship,” Ms Goward said.

To be eligible, individuals must provide a letter of recommendation from a domestic and family violence service or agency such as Legal Aid NSW, the NSW Department of Family & Community Services, crisis accommodation services, peak bodies or other support services.

Anyone suffering domestic violence is urged to contact the Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463. For more information, visit www.smartandskilled.nsw.gov.au

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