More than 50 business and industry leaders came together in Sydney today to look at ways to tackle age discrimination to boost the number of mature age Australians in the workforce.
Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis today released new figures showing the average duration of unemployment for people over 55 in NSW stands at 95 weeks, twice as long the rate for younger people.
“We know there are 3.8 million mature age Australians, many interested in working, who face barriers when it comes to finding work,” Minister Ellis said.
“Research shows mature age workers save their employer $2000 a year compared to their younger counterparts – they are more reliable, loyal, cost less to recruit, and provide a greater return on investment.
“There is a compelling case for businesses to rethink their practices when it comes to employing mature age workers.
“Boosting the employment participation of mature age workers offers significant advantages – just a 5 per cent increase in the mature age participation rate would grow our economy by a further 2.4 per cent, or almost $48 billion by 2025.”
Minister Ellis said Sydney Corporate Champions forum is part of a pilot which the Australian Government announced is being put out to tender to be expanded to a $15 million national flagship program taking in more than 250 businesses across Australia.
Businesses that sign up to be a Corporate Champion benefit from assistance including:
• up to $10,000 in assistance to access an industry expert to help improve their workforce planning and recruitment strategies
• up to $4400 per employer for a skills assessment and training through the ‘Investing in Experience—Skills Recognition and Training’ program
• a Jobs Bonus of $1000 for employers, who recruit mature age job seekers
• the Wage Connect subsidy of around $5900 for employers who take on a mature age job seeker with no recent workforce experience.
“The Corporate Champions program is just one part of this Government’s commitment to mature age people and to strengthening our economic future,” Minister Ellis said.
“We’ve also already delivered more than 9500 free career advice sessions since July 2010 through the Experience+ Career Advice service.
“To understand the landscape and the task ahead, the Australian Government commissioned the first national survey on the employment barriers faced by mature age Australians, surveying the experience of more than 3000 mature age Australians.
“We’ve also appointed the first Age Discrimination Commissioner in 2011 – Susan Ryan AO – as part of the Australian Human Rights Commission and we’ve provided increased funding to support her in her work.”
For information on the Government’s mature age employment programs visit: www.deewr.gov.au/experienceplus
For questions on the Corporate Champions program email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on the Corporate Champions Request for Tender, go to AusTender: www.tenders.gov.au