Mature age workers central to future prosperity

A new Deloitte report recognises the imperative for businesses to retain their mature age workers.

 

The report, Where is Your Next Worker?, released this week encourages Australian businesses to take advantage of the skills and experiences that mature age workers bring to the workplace.

 

To ensure Australians have the opportunity to up-skill and re-skill during the current economic transition, the Government has allocated $110 million for a Skills Connect package to provide workers with the training to transition from sectors which are experiencing structural adjustment to sectors in which skilled labour is in strong demand.

 

"Job creation is one of the key benefits that our country will enjoy as a result of the mining boom – jobs that will last far beyond this period of historic investment," Minister for Jobs and Skills, Senator Chris Evans said.

 

"We cannot afford to risk the benefits of the mining boom by simply not utilising our existing workforce more effectively. Employers must take advantage of the skills of their retiring workforce."

 

This year is the year in which the first of the baby-boomer generation becomes eligible for the aged pension.

 

"The time for talking about the future ageing of our population is over – it is happening now," Ms Ellis said.

 

"The willingness of Australians to work for longer is a strength that we need to harness and ensuring that mature workers are properly supported is central to addressing the challenge of an ageing population.

 

“The ageing labour force, combined with skills shortages, means it is more important than ever to encourage experienced employees to stay in the workforce."

 

The Government is providing incentives for pensioners to keep engaged with the labour force, with a Work Bonus allowing them to earn up to $250 per fortnight more before their pension is affected.

 

The Government also has a number of initiatives in place to help employers manage an ageing workforce:

  • Through Experience+, employers can draw on more than $70million in support to help them re-train and retain mature age workers;

  • The new Investing in Experience Employment Charter outlines nine best practice principles to help employers prepare for an ageing workforce;

  • One-on-one assistance to a number of employers who have agreed to become Corporate Champions and to demonstrate leadership in this area; and

  • The Consultative Forum on Mature Age Participation will continue to provide advice on future initiatives to support mature age workers and their employers.

 

While millions of jobs have been lost in Europe and the United States, the Australian economy has added around three-quarters of a million jobs since Labor came into office in 2007. This has created a shortage of labour in areas of the economy which can be filled by qualified, up-skilled and re-skilled mature aged workers.

 

For more information on Experience+ www.deewr.gov.au/experienceplus

 

10 November 2011.