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Inquiry into mature-age workers: Canberra.

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Media release


House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations


7 December 1999


Inquiry into mature-age workers



The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workpla ce Relations will be holding its final 1999 public hearings for its inquiry into issues specific to mature-age job seekers, starting at 9:00 am on Thursday 9 December in Committee Room 1R3, Parliament House, Canberra.


The Department of Employment, Workplace Relations & Small Business (DEWRSB) and the Belconnen Employment Solutions Taskforce will be giving evidence.


The Chair of the Committee, Dr Brendan Nelson, said: “The Department has responsibility for a number of programs which impact on unemployed mature-age people. One is job Network, which provides national services for the unemployed. Given the comments witnesses have made about job Network providers in the course of this inquiry, the Committee is keen to question DEWRSB, especially as the list of the latest Job Network providers was released last week.


“DEWRSB is responsible for a number of programs, including the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS), which assist people who wish to establish and operate small businesses. Many retrenched mature-age people seek to create employment for themselves by setting up a small business. Unfortunately, a number of these ventures fail. The Committee is keen to explore with DEWRSB the operation of its small business programs.


“Among the matters the Committee would like to discuss with DEWRSB are the barriers to mature-age re-employment. If, as we have been told, employer attitudes form a sizeable barrier, then we need to develop strategies to overcome such prejudices.


“The Belconnen Taskforce, on the other hand, provides a local ACT perspective. It is a community-based organisation interested in furthering an understanding of the plight of ACT unemployed mature-age people. While the ACT may have a lower unemployment rate than many other parts of Australia, the Taskforce points out that significant numbers of mature-age job seekers in the ACT are not accessing services because they are not aware of all the services available to them.


“We are keen to have a better understanding of the issues facing policy makers, service providers and job seekers so that we can find workable solutions to recommend to the Government.”


The Committee has held public hearings in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra. Public hearing transcripts and most submissions are available at: http: / / house/committee/eewr/ OWK/ index.htm .

Alternatively, copies may be obtained directly from the secretariat.


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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