Monthly Archives: October 2015

Mature Age Job Seekers and the Restart subsidy

In August I wrote to our local MP, Kevin Hogan expressing concern that the government Restart subsidy for employers to hire a mature age worker did not make any provision for part time employment (which is what a lot of mature age workers are seeking)

Today, two months later, I received a letter from Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister of Employment, signed by her Chief of Staff, advising that the Restart subsidy will change from November 2015 so that employers will be eligible to receive the full $10,000 subsidy over a 12 month period instead of the previous 24 months..HURRAH !!, that’s a little progress isn’t it.

The bad news is that it still makes no provision for part time work and the employer has to take on a mature age worker (50 years of age or older) for at least 15 hours per week for 52 weeks to get even a partial Restart subsidy. Many small business employers just cannot make this kind of commitment for extra staff and $10,000 does not go very far towards the wages of an extra full time person for a year.

The letter continues to deliver bad news too. If the mature age job seeker does not receive income support from our government then they are not eligible and an employer cannot receive the subsidy for them, even if they are the best person or the job.  Question, “How serious is our Federal Government about encouraging employment of more mature age workers when such pitifully inadequate subsidies like Restart are offered?”

The Minister also tells me that the “Job Active providers are paid on the basis of outcomes and receive a modest fee to cover administration.”  If this is true how are they able to support so many staff, offices and cars and still not find jobs for mature age workers? If the Job Active network is so effective and paid on placement of people into jobs, why are our unemployment figures in the Northern Rivers still so high? The Job Active providers network costs us many millions of dollars, nationally, each year but we’re never told how many new jobs it creates….Why is this so?

Personally, I’m tired of our government paying lip service to employing mature age job seekers without putting anything meaningful in place to make it happen so, it’s time to mobilise the mature age job seekers into action. If you agree more needs to be done, please write a letter to your local MP and/or to the Minister and ask them to divert some of the “modest fees paid to Job Active providers” into an incentive program for employers that actively supports ALL mature age job seekers.  The address for the Minister is Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600.

Your comments to this post are also welcome.

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A solution to the skills crisis is right under our noses.

Reproduced courtesy of  aiea.org.au – Sept. 25, 2015

There is an increasingly desperate debate about the current and projected skills shortage in Australia and how the aging of the population will impact on our standard of living.

Much has been said and written about the possible ways of minimising the looming crisis. Migrant workers, job sharing, telecommuting, flexible work environments, outsourcing, trade and vocational training, mothers returning to the workforce, people with disabilities and the delaying of retirement are all subjects that have been proposed and analysed for their ability to form part of the solution.

One solution which has the potential to provide immediate benefits has not received the attention it deserves.

That solution consists of a large talent pool: those born in the sixties or earlier who have decades of experience that are not in current employment but want to be. Who are these people? Many are from the upper levels of management and find themselves casting around for gainful employment as the result of a voluntary or involuntary dislocation event.

An involuntary dislocation event is usually the result of a retrenchment. Many, perhaps most, of those suffering a retrenchment don’t see it coming and are totally unprepared for the event.

A voluntary dislocation event is often caused by the baby boomer leaving his employ and striking out on his or her own as a consultant. They quickly discover that having a regular flow of assignments requires effort and sales skills. Another one is the person who has formally retired but wishes to remain active in business on a part time basis.

These people find that the recruitment firms, with some rare exceptions, are oriented to the younger candidates and tend to ignore many applicants over 45 years of age.

Older job seekers of executive roles are under the government radar because they do not register with Centrelink and so are not officially counted in the unemployment figures.

Centrelink can’t help. The recruitment agencies can’t help. So we have a large number of capable executives wanting to use their skills but unable to connect with the equally large number of business owners who want to employ them.

What is needed is a different type of agency that specialises in the executive baby boomers and promotes their services to the companies in need. One such agency is AIEA.org.au. AIEA attracts the experienced executive and limits its membership to seasoned managers ranging from Project or Operations Manager through to CFO, CEO and Board positions.

Want to know more? – www.aiea.org.au

In the Northern Rivers Region of NSW, SilverTemp provides a similar service for mature age, experienced administrative personnel who are seeking part time or casual employment. This group is particularly suited to the SME that needs only  a small parcel of time each week…perhaps a few hours of bookkeeping or  some administrative work to cover rostered days off. Flexibility is the key component which makes this concept work. Purchasing a small parcel of time through labour hire is a very cost effective solution. Why not call us on 0448244111 and discuss?
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