Investing in Experience - Gov't offers employers training grants for over 50's

Skill shortages are still the major risk to most business achieving their strategic objectives. Finding the right level of expertise has always been a challenge but in our current competitive environment the demand for quality staff has exacerbated an already difficult situation. One source of expertise that hasn’t necessarily been given the attention it deserves is the over 50 age group category.

On average these employees tend to be more stable, bring exceptional levels of experience, tend to higher levels of engagement and stay in the job for a longer period of time. So they’re a great investment. Like all other hiring activities it is important to thoroughly screen candidates against the range of hiring measures defined in the job description. Should your short-list  contain candidates who are over 5o, then the government has offered various incentives for you to hire them in that business which employ people aged over 50 will be able to apply for $5000 training grants in an effort to keep more people in the workforce.

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan and Employment Minister Kate Ellis announced an expansion of the Government's $43 million Experience+ program to extend support to workers aged 50 years and over, down from a previous minimum of 55 years. Employers can apply for grants to train workers so they can become mentors to, or supervisors of, apprentices and trainees.

Australia has 3.1 million full-time and part-time workers aged over 50. The Experience+ program also gives on-the-job support for mature age workers whose jobs may be at risk due to poor health, injury or disability.

The Government will also announce a Corporate Champions project in which large companies will promote the benefits of hiring mature workers.
"The ageing labour force, combined with skills shortages, means it is more important than ever to encourage experienced employees to stay in the workforce," Ms Ellis said.

The Australian Industry Group- which along with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will lead the Corporate Champions project - believes it makes "sound business sense to encourage mature age workers to stay within the business".

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace relations provides a considerable amount of information relating to this subject including a white paper “Investing in Experience”.  For more information click"}">here. This post was inspired by an article by political reporter Alison Rehn.

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