The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

25 September 2012

Findings of first national survey into
mature-age workers released

Joint media release with
The Hon Kate Ellis MP
Minister for Employment Participation
Minister for Early Childhood and Childcare
Yvette D'ath MP
Federal Member for Petrie

The Gillard Government today released the findings of the first national survey of the employment barriers faced by mature-age workers, commissioned to help inform policies to attract more mature-age workers into the workforce.

Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan and Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis released the survey's findings at the launch of the Australian Government's Corporate Champions seminar series in Queensland.

"We have an ageing workforce which means there are up to 3.8 million mature age Australians, many who still want to work and be part of the economy, but are facing barriers," Mr Swan said.

"This survey will help us better understand barriers faced by mature-age Australians so that we can get more Australians into work and tap into the valuable pool of mature workers who have so much experience and knowledge to contribute to our economy."

"Our Government has committed to be a driving force to help businesses to rethink their attitudes and policies towards mature-age workers," Ms Ellis said.

Some of the key findings of the survey include:

  • Illness, injury and disability was reported as preventing one-fifth of the total population aged 45-74 from working or looking for work in the last 5 years.
  • 36 per cent of job seekers reported having experienced exclusion while looking for a job in the last 5 years and attributed it to their age, while 83% believe it to be an issue in Australia.
  • Care-giving responsibilities are reported as preventing around one-third of care-givers from working or working more hours.

"The Government's programs and our relationships with business are already providing more support for older workers, but we still have more to do," Ms Ellis said.

"The survey tells us that flexibility in the workplace – particularly for care givers and for people with an injury, disability or a health condition – is essential if we are to support mature-age workers."

The launch of the Corporate Champions seminar series is a part of the $15 million Corporate Champions program announced by the Government.  The program supports employers who commit to best practice in the employment and retention of their mature-age workers (aged 45 and over). The program also provides up to $10,000 in assistance to access an industry expert to help improve their workforce planning and recruitment strategies.

"The program is about rewarding employers who commit to best practice in hiring and retaining mature-age workers," Member for Petrie Yvette D'ath said.

In addition, a Jobs Bonus of $1000 will be provided to employers who recruit an eligible mature age job seeker.  Since July 2010, more than 8,500 free career advice sessions have been delivered to mature-age job seekers to help to market their skills to employers through the $11.9 million Experience+ Career Advice service.

From 1 January 2013, older job seekers will be given additional support through the $26 million 'Silver Service—Job Seeker Assistance' program.

The Australian Government-funded national survey of the employment barriers faced by mature-aged workers was managed by the Productive Ageing Centre, with more than 3,000 Australians aged from 45 to 74 participating in the survey.

For more information, visit the DEEWR experience+ website.