Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

Fremantle 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 Fremantle were today encouraged to recruit mature age workers using Australian Government assistance.

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

Ms Ellis and Ms Parke encouraged Fremantle 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 Fremantle region,” Ms Ellis said.

“A number of Fremantle businesses are already making good use of the skills and experience of our mature age workers – but we want to see even more jobseekers and businesses benefit.

“Despite being less likely to become unemployed, we know mature-age workers in Western Australia take a staggering 47 weeks on average to find work again.

“That’s more than double the length of time of younger workers, which is 21 weeks.”

Ms Ellis said research showed mature-age workers saved their employer’s money (around $2,000 a year) by being more reliable and loyal than younger workers.

“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 Parke welcomed the investment in helping older jobseekers in Fremantle find work.

“Labour force conditions are strong in Western Australia, but it’s clear that once an older worker loses their job, they remain unemployed for a long period of time,” she said.

“I encourage local employers to look at the benefits that mature age workers will bring to businesses.

“I’d also recommend the range of Australian Government initiatives that can help employers recruit and retain older workers and utilise their skills and experience in their businesses.”

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

  • priority access to the Jobs Bonus of $1,000 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; and
  • up to $4,400 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