Collaboration on Mature Age Employment

Monday 2 March 2020

The Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, the Hon Michaelia Cash met with Dr Kay Patterson AO and members of the Collaborative Partnership on Mature Age Employment.

The Collaborative Partnership aims to improve the workforce participation of mature aged Australians and encourage employers to create workplaces that are more mature-age friendly.

The Department and the Collaborative Partnership of Mature Age Employment are all committed to the same goal of improving employment outcomes for mature age Australia. We know the skills, insight and on-the-job experience of mature age Australians. They have a valuable contribution to make to the workplace and we are committed to ensuring that older jobseekers are able to modernise their existing skillset to re-enter the workforce.

Research by the Department shows that employers speak highly of the skills and experience mature age people have to offer and particularly value their reliability, strong work ethic and communication skills.

The Government is committed to giving everyone who wants to work every opportunity to be part of the workforce, and we understand the need to provide tailored support. The Career Transition Assistance program, jobactive employment services, Pathway to Work program and Restart wage subsidies are some of the ways we are providing support to mature age job seekers. 

We understand older job seekers who want to work need assistance to modernise or transition their existing skillset to re-enter the workforce. Vocational education and training are increasingly becoming the way of the future, offering adult learners hands-on experience, in a flexible learning environment and delivering the relevant skills that industry is looking for. Whether it is upskilling or completely reskilling, we want to encourage more older Australians to make the investment in themselves and take part in lifelong learning through a VET qualification.

The latest available ABS data show that the unemployment rate for persons aged 65 years and over stood at 1.7 per cent in August 2019.

Career Transition Assistance

The Career Transition Assistance (CTA) program is designed to help mature-age job seekers build their confidence and skills to become more competitive in their local labour market through a short intensive course. CTA helps people 45 years of age and older to increase their job readiness by identifying their transferable skills and better targeting their job search to local industries and available jobs. Participants receive practical support to build their IT skills, update and tailor resumes and job applications, find opportunities in their local area, and explore suitable occupations.

Pathway to Work

Pathway to Work is a small-scale initiative designed to trial a variety of activities aimed at stimulating demand for mature age workers. From 1 July 2018, up to 10 pilot projects will run over three years across Australia, targeting job seekers 45 years of age and over who are facing barriers to employment. .

Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers

The Government has increased support for older Australians to upskill or transition into new careers through the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program and the Skills and Training Incentive. The Skills Checkpoint is available to people aged 45 to 70, who are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, employed and at risk of entering the income support system, or recently unemployed (within three months) and not registered for assistance through an Australian Government employment services program such as jobactive. The Skills Checkpoint is an individually tailored assessment of a person’s existing skills with advice and guidance on transitioning into new roles within their current industry or pathways to a new career, including referral to relevant education and training options.

The Skills and Training Incentive is available where training is identified through the Skills Checkpoint and provides up to $2000 for training to help build skills to remain in the workforce longer. The funding must be matched by either the person or their employer.

Restart wage subsidy

The Restart wage subsidy is a financial incentive (up to $10,000 inc GST) to encourage businesses to hire and retain mature age employees who are 50 years and over.