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Give us a job: Baby Boomers’ talent ‘going to waste’

Australia’s baby boomers are the most work-hungry in the industrialised world and soon it could be worth $1000 for an employer to hire one.

That’s because while the seniors want jobs, they are also kept on the unemployment rolls longer than many other groups.

The Government today will release a report from businessman Everald Compton who chaired the panel inquiring into Economic Potential of Senior Australians.

“Australia is only going to prosper if we recognise the best attributes of mature-aged Australians. We are wasting good experienced talent by not harnessing them in every way we can,” according to Mr Compton.

The Government is expected to announce a scheme, capped at $10 million, to pay 10,000 employers $1000 if they hire a worker aged 50 or over for at least three months. It will start on July 1 and run for four years.

“It’s all about giving older Australians more choice, and the opportunity for some extra financial security if they want to keep bringing home a pay check in their later years,” said Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Over the past 10 years – and particularly in the past three years – the demand for jobs by baby boomers has increased sharply.

Australia’s mature-age participation rate is now the biggest recorded by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and exceeds the average for all other age brackets. 

The demand for work eases back for those aged 65 and over.

However, they also make up an age bracket which finds it hard to find another job if retrenched, particularly if they are unskilled workers.

The average time on the dole queue for those aged 45 to 54 years is a year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This jumps to 75 weeks for those aged 55 and over.

This is more than twice the average period unemployed for other groups.

The Government is expected to use Mr Compton’s report to give a glowing reference for older workers, praising their low rates of absenteeism, high retention rates and the benefits of life experience they can bring to a workplace.

And they are not going away.

“The demographics of the Australian workforce is changing – we are working longer and to an older age,” said Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten.

“Longer life expectancy, better health and reward for cerebral work over brawn is favouring longer years in the workforce.”

Reinvent Your Career would like to thank the Herald Sun where this article first appeared.

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