Release type: Media Release

Date:

Business encouraged to hire mature age workers

Ministers:

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

A pilot program aimed at persuading big business of the benefits of hiring mature age Australians is now being expanded across Australia.

Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis today announced the tender that will see the Australia Government’s highly successful Corporate Champions program extended to more than 250 new organisations across Australia and take in small, medium and big businesses.

“Mature age workers represent a huge boost to our workforce and economy, yet too many are telling me they face barriers when it comes to securing work,” Minister Ellis said.

“In a time when some sectors are crying out for workers, it makes great sense for employers to look again at what older Australians can offer their business.

“We know there are 3.8 million mature age Australians, many interested in working, and that having these people in the workforce will be a huge benefit to our economy - that’s why we introduced a package of programs aimed squarely at breaking down the barriers for getting mature age workers into work.”

Minister Ellis announced a call for tender at a Corporate Champions seminar in Melbourne today where more than 50 business leaders from across Victoria met to discuss how to break down the barriers for businesses employing mature age Australians.

Minister Ellis said the tender would extend the highly successful pilot program a national flagship program.

“We are investing $15 million to expand the program from 26 organisations in the pilot program to more than 250 new Corporate Champions over the next 4 years,” Minister Ellis.

The Corporate Champions program offers businesses intensive help for 18 months to attract and retain workers, 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

“Victoria is leading the way with 9 of the 26 Corporate Champions and the response from employers in this state to the benefits of employing mature age has been fantastic,” Minister Ellis said. 

“It’s fantastic the employment rate for mature age people in Melbourne stands at 69.6 per cent, the third highest figure of any capital city and above the comparable figure for Australia of 67.9 per cent – but we can do more.”

Minister Ellis said the Australian Government is doing more than ever before to harness the skills and experience of mature workers.

“In order to understand the problem, earlier this year we commissioned the first ever survey of 3000 mature age Australians specifically looking at the major barriers to employment,” Minister Ellis said.

“The Australian Government also appointed the first Age Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan AO. We have also have charged the Law Reform Commission with identifying discrimination and disincentives for older workers in Australian law, with a report due next year.

“We have also delivered more than 8000 free career advice sessions to mature age job seekers to help them market their skills to employers through the $11.9 million Experience+ Career Advice service since July 2010.”

For more information on the Government’s mature age employment programs visit: www.deewr.gov.au/experienceplus and for questions on the Corporate Champions program email corporatechampions@deewr.gov.au