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More help for mature aged people to find work.



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Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP

Minister for Workforce Participation 19 December, 2006

Media Release

More help for mature aged people to find work

The mature aged unemployed are being given even greater support with a new kit that brings together all of the

Australian Government’s programs to help mature aged job seekers find a job. The Mature Age Support Workers’ Kit

was released today by the Minister for Workforce Participation, Dr Sharman Stone.

"Over the last 10 years the numbers of working Australians aged 55 to 64 has risen and is now just above the average

for the same age group in OECD countries. But we continue to have significantly fewer mature age people in the

workforce, when compared with Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom," Dr Stone said.

"On average, Australians of 50 to 64 years of age, have superannuation nest eggs of only about $56,000 - far less

than needed to provide a financially comfortable life in retirement.

"As well, about 25% of men and 50% of women retire early, before they reach the age of 60, and half of all 55 to 59

year old retirees had personal incomes of less than $10,000 a year. On average, most Australians have 20 years or

more of retirement to live, therefore staying in the workforce longer or easing into retirement and this is one way to

accumulate superannuation or savings.

"These facts alone mean that we need to break down the stereotypes about older employees or job seekers. We need

to emphasise the fact that mature aged workers can have great interpersonal and communication skills and show

loyalty and commitment to the workplace. They can also have a range of previous experiences and skills and are

ready and willing to learn new skills," Dr Stone said.

"Australia, like many developed countries, is facing the significant challenge of an ageing population. How we

respond to these major demographic changes will affect our continuing prosperity."

Dr Stone said helping more mature aged job seekers into employment is a crucial part of the Australian

Government’s response to the ageing population generated workforce shortages.

"Over the next decade, it is estimated that around 80 per cent of all labour force growth will come from the group

aged 45 and over.

"We are already enjoying the lowest unemployment rates in more than 30 years. There is unmet demand for labour

in many areas including in retail, hospitality, tourism, transport and in the services sector. So there has never been a

better time for mature age people to find work.

"Through this new Mature Age Support Workers’ kit, community organisations will be reminded of the employment

services available to mature age job seekers through Job Network."

Community organisations can use the kit to direct mature aged people to the range of free Australian Government

employment services available to them, including Job Search Support, Australian Job Search, the New Enterprise

Incentive Scheme, Employment Preparation and the Government’s mature age website, Jobwise.

www.jobwise.gov.au contains information for employers, mature age job seekers and mature-age workers.

www.jobsearch.gov.au provides a one-stop-shop for information about jobs and working conditions, careers and

training, unemployment programmes and details of job and volunteering opportunities.

Job Search Support -

is available to anyone, whether or not they are receiving welfare payments. Job Network members give advice on job

search techniques, career options and employment programmes. They also provide assistance with resumes and

facilitate access to the web based Job Search facilities.

The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) assists unemployed people to start and run their own small

business. NEIS provides training in small business management, business plan development and mentoring, while

the unemployed person continues to be supported on unemployment benefits. There are also places in this program

for mature aged people who are not unemployed, but who would like to start their own small business.

The kit also includes information for employers about the benefits of employing mature aged people, and the

Australian Jobs publication, which sets out employment trends in a wide range of industries, many of which offer

worthwhile employment opportunities for mature aged Australians.

For further information contact: Andrew Cox 0408 057 226