Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

Ballarat businesses urged to employ older workers

Ministers:

The Hon Kate Ellis MP
Minister for Employment Participation
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care

Businesses in and around Ballarat were today encouraged to recruit mature-age workers using Australian Government assistance.

Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis and Member for Ballarat Catherine King joined local businesses at a Ballarat breakfast to promote the benefits of employing older workers through the Australian Government’s Corporate Champions program.

Ms Ellis, Ms King and participating employers such as Ballarat Health Services encouraged other businesses to take advantage of the program.

"Many of Australia’s 3.8 million mature-age Australians want to make a strong contribution to Australian businesses, including those in the Ballarat region,” Ms Ellis said.

"A number of Ballarat businesses are already making good use of the skills and experience of our mature-age workers—but we want to see even more job seekers and businesses benefit.”

Ms Ellis said research showed mature-age workers saved their employer money (around $2000 a year) by being more reliable and loyal than younger workers.

"Despite being less likely to become unemployed, we know mature-age workers in Victoria are unemployed for a staggering 62 weeks on average, more than twice the average of 30 weeks for younger job seekers,” she said.

"We’ve put thousands of dollars of incentives in place for businesses that are prepared to re-think their HR practices when it comes to hiring mature-age workers.”

Ms King welcomed the investment in helping older job seekers from Ballarat find work.

"There are too many stories I hear of older workers, who still have so much to offer, but have hit a hurdle in finding the next stage in their careers,” Ms King said.

"Mature-aged job seekers often have a lifetime of experience that can greatly benefit businesses—experience younger generations simply do not have.

"Many employers in Ballarat and surrounding areas do a fantastic job hiring local mature-age workers and we want to spread the word about the Federal assistance and incentives available.”

Businesses that sign up to be a Corporate Champion benefit from assistance including:

  • priority access to the Jobs Bonus of $1000 available to 2500 employers who recruit mature-age job seekers each financial year until 2016
  • up to $20,000 worth of services from 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.

For information on the Government’s mature-age employment programs visit: www.deewr.gov.au/experienceplus.