THE Federal Government this week announced new incentives aimed at encouraging businesses to hire mature-aged workers.
Under the scheme, businesses will receive a $1000 payment for hiring workers aged 55 and over, as the government works to increase mature-aged participation in the workforce and address negative attitudes towards older workers.
Minister for Employment and Participation Kate Ellis launched the new $1000 Experience+ Jobs Bonus as part of the government's $55.3 million initiatives package.
"There are over 3.8 million mature-age Australians and many want to work, yet every week I hear stories from many mature-age jobseekers about their frustration in searching for work," Ms Ellis said.
"We have a wealth of experience and so many talented and dedicated people being overlooked.
"Mature-aged workers can save their employers $2000 a year on average compared to their younger counterparts. They are more reliable, loyal, and provide a better return on investment.
"Despite this, we know that mature-aged workers are out of work twice as long as their younger counterparts with the average duration of unemployment for people 55 and over standing at 70 weeks.
"We are determined to do anything we can to get more mature-aged Australians into work and so I am pleased to introduce this new program of incentives designed to get businesses to put on mature-aged staff."
Ms Ellis said mature-aged workers often faced unfair hurdles when attempting to rejoin the workforce.
"Mature-age Australians represent a huge boost to our economy; they are loyal workers and they are hard workers, but they are too often are faced with unnecessary barriers when looking for work.
"We have put in place a program of new incentives to break down those barriers and encourage businesses to see mature-age workers as valuable additions to their workforce.
"A total of 2500 job bonuses of $1000 each are now available each financial year until 2016, and any business can apply no matter how big or small.
"We want to make it as easy as possible to encourage businesses to take on mature-aged workers and they can apply for the $1000 Experience+ Jobs Bonus program online in just a few simple steps."
More information about the Experience+ Jobs Bonus and other mature-age initiatives is available at deewr.gov.au/experience, or by calling the DEEWR Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.