Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

Supporting mature-age job seekers to boost business in WA

Ministers:

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

Business leaders came together at a Corporate Champions seminar in Perth today to tackle age discrimination and boost the number of mature-age Australians in the local workforce.

Federal Member for Brand, Gary Gray hosted the seminar today and said that for Australia to remain competitive, it needs to take advantage of the skills and expertise of mature-age workers.

“We know there are 3.8 million mature-age Australians nationally, including 349,500 in WA, many who are interested in working but who face barriers to employment,” Mr Gray said.

“Yet 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.”

People in WA aged 55 and over were unemployed for 42 weeks on average, well below the 77 weeks recorded nationally for mature-age people, but almost twice the state-wide average for all ages (25 weeks).

“While this is good news for older people wanting work in WA, there is still a big gap with the all-ages average and we want even more businesses in this state to benefit from having mature age workers,” Mr Gray said.

“There is a compelling case for businesses to rethink their practices when it comes to employing mature-age workers, and this is why we encourage them to become a Corporate Champion.

“Boosting the employment participation of mature-age workers offers significant economic advantages – just a 5 per cent increase in the mature-age participation rate would grow our national economy by a further 2.4 per cent or almost $48 billion by 2025.”

Minister for Employment Participation, Kate Ellis said that 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 $10,000 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.
  • the Wage Connect subsidy of around $5900 for employers who take on a mature-age job seeker with no recent workforce experience.

“The $15 million Corporate Champions program is just one part of this Government’s commitment to mature-age people and to strengthening our economic future,” Ms Ellis said.

“We’ve also already delivered more than 9900 free career advice sessions since July 2010 through the Experience+ Career Advice service.

“To understand the task ahead, we 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 Susan Ryan AO as the first Age Discrimination Commissioner and we’ve increased funding to support her work with the Australian Human Rights Commission.”

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

For questions on the Corporate Champions program email: corporatechampions@deewr.gov.au