Central West to trial jobs program for mature aged Australians

THE Central West employment region is one of five trial sites around Australia for a new employment program aimed at helping prepare mature aged Australians for new jobs.

The Career Transition Assistance Program trial will include over 50s in the West Wyalong, Forbes and Parkes areas, including Ungarie, Condobolin and Trundle.

Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack, said the Liberal-Nationals Government was delivering on a $110 million commitment in the 2017-18 Budget to create more opportunities for those aged over 50 to re-skill and re-enter the workforce.

“As someone who has employed older Australians, I know their capabilities, experience, knowledge and energy are terrific assets that can really benefit all types of businesses and organisations,” Mr McCormack said.

“I know there are many retail shops, financial services companies and manufacturers who would benefit greatly from taking on mature age workers.”

Mr McCormack said 24.1 per cent of those looking for work in the Central West employment region were aged at least 50 and in NSW there were 37,100 mature aged workers in NSW looking for a job.

Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the Government was committing significant resources to address the fact that mature aged Australians could remain locked out of the workforce for long periods when leaving a job.

“By making this targeted investment we are identifying and removing barriers that may be preventing mature age Australians from returning to the workforce,” Senator Cash said.

“We know that the average duration of unemployment for people aged 55 years and over is 73 weeks, compared with an average of 45 weeks.”

Participants in the program will be able to boost their skills, strengthen their resilience, learn new job-search techniques and better understand the local labour market. They can also opt in for training in computer and information technology, if that is one of their skills gaps.

“Every policy lever the government has at its disposal is being utilised to promote growth, encourage investment and stimulate job creation,” Senator Cash said.

“Since the Coalition came to office there have been more than 730,000 jobs created for Australians and we are delivering on commitments to ensure employment growth continues.”

For more information about the Career Transition Assistance please visit; https://www.employment.gov.au/career-transition-assistance-program

Ken Grimson