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Inquiry into mature-aged workers: Melbourne.

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Media Release

House of Representatives Standing

Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations


12 November 1999


Inquiry into mature-age workers Melbourne


The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workpla ce Relations will be holding its next public hearings for its inquiry into issues specific to mature-age workers, in Melbourne over two days, starting at 9:30 am on Tuesday 16 November in the Conference Room, Business Council of Australia, 16th Floor, 379 Collins Street Melbourne.


The Chair of the Committee, Dr Brendan Nelson , said: "The Committee has a very interesting program as we shall be hearing from the Council on the Ageing, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Business Council of Australia, the Hume City Council, two research organisations and several employment providers.


"Many mature-age jobseekers have told the Committee they believe that employer attitudes make it harder for them to be re-employed. Drake Consulting has provided concrete data to confirm their views. None of the 500 employers surveyed by Drake said they would choose to employ managers and executives in their fifties. Up to 65% of companies say this group would be the first to go when they are retrenching staff. 62% of the organisations make most of their selections from the 31-40 age group, while 23% prefer staff in their forties.


"The Committee will also be hearing from Davidson & Associates . Its survey found that the older and more highly paid a person was prior to redundancy, the longer it took to find a new job.


"The ACTU has suggested that Australia should consider flexible ways to encourage mature-age workers to consider phased retirement. It has cited a number of overseas examples for consideration."


Dr Nelson added: "We are also hearing from several organisations, such as the Hume City Council, which have highlighted the additional difficulties experienced by unemployed mature-age people from non~Enghsh speaking backgrounds. Many of these people, especially those who have come as refugees, found unskilled jobs initially in manufacturing and processing. In recent times, many firms in these industries have been mechanised, downsized, gone off-shore or even closed.


"The Committee aims to identify why so many mature age people have difficulties in regaining employment after they lose their jobs and to find practical solutions to meet the needs of this age group."


The Committee has received evidence from a number of witnesses at earlier public hearings in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra. Public hearing transcripts and most submissions are at


Terms of reference

Inquire into the social, economic and industrial issues specific to workers over 45 years of age seeking employment, or establishing a business, following unemployment.



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