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Tourism industry to target mature age job seekers.



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THE HON MAL BROUGH MP

MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

Media Release

04504

Tourism Industry To Target Mature Age Job Seekers

The Australian tourism industry is being asked to more actively consider the business benefits of employing more mature age workers.

The Minister for Employment Services, Mal Brough, today launched the Tourism Mature Aged Jobs Campaign, a joint initiative of Tourism Training Australia and the Australian Government at the National Training Conference of Tourism Training Australia in Sydney.

Mr Brough said that as part of the upcoming Mature Age Month in April, the industry will commence some 24 workshops nationwide to promote the benefits of training and employing mature age jobseekers for the tourism industry through Job Network.

"Tourism Training Australia, the industry’s national training body, is to be congratulated for being at the vanguard of promoting mature age training and employment issues in the tourism and hospitality industry," Mr Brough said.

"The tourism industry employs some 550,000 people directly and a further 397,000 indirectly. This industry has an ongoing demand for good staff and mature age jobseekers can make a valuable contribution to individual businesses and the industry as a whole."

"Today, in conjunction with Tourism Training Australia, the Government is urging employers to consider the solid business case of better retention, better return for the training dollar, lower absenteeism and the value of experience by employing more mature age people."

Mr Brough said the workshops will be a great opportunity for employers in the tourism and hospitality industry to actively engage with Job Network members and Transition to Work providers and explore mature age employment opportunities.

Mr Brough warned the conference that demographic changes in Australia emerging now and into the future will confront the tourism businesses in two ways. There will be fewer young people entering the workforce to fill the

increased demand for staff and, secondly, customers will also be ageing and increasingly demanding service from more people their own age.

"The smart businesses will be acting now and striving for more mature aged employees as a competitive advantage. The mature age-friendly businesses will attract the best mature age staff."

"A ready source of mature age employees is the Job Network and Transition to Work providers and today’s initiative is a demonstration of the concrete steps we are taking to raise employer awareness of the benefit of having mature aged employees," Mr Brough said.

"This is not just talk. Job Network also has a number of tools at its disposal such as the Job Seeker Account and the Training Account to assist mature age job seekers become job ready and to meet the needs of employers," Mr Brough said.

The workshops will be conducted across Australia in both regional centres and capital cities over the next few months. The workshops are being funded through the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations’ Employment Innovation Fund.

For further information contact:

David Moore 0417 774 724

25/03/2004