Bill's Media Releases

Valuing the skills and experience of older Australians

Employers will be given an extra incentive to hire older workers, under a new Jobs Bonus from the Gillard Government.

The Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, said the Government will provide a new Jobs Bonus of $1000 to 10,000 employers who recruit and retain a worker aged 50 years or over for over three months.

“I know from speaking with residents in the Maribyrnong community that there are older Australians who feel like they’re not given a fair go when it comes to looking for work,” Mr Shorten said.

“While unemployment amongst older people is generally low, we do know that once mature age Australians find themselves out of work they tend to be unemployed more than twice as long as other job seekers.”

“The Jobs Bonus is all about helping older Australians to get the first foot in the door when it comes to re-entering the workforce.”
“I would like to see more employers realise the enormous potential of older workers, and to value their life experience as an asset in the workplace,” Mr Shorten said.

The Jobs Bonus has been announced is in response to the participation and aged discrimination findings in the report on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians, chaired by Everald Compton AM.

The Jobs Bonus is about making it easier for mature age Australians to find work by giving incentives to those businesses who embrace their skills and experience.

It will help older job seekers who do not currently receive intensive Government support find and keep a job.

““We know that the demographics of the Maribyrnong workforce are changing – we are working longer and to an older age,” Mr Shorten said.

“As a nation we need to harness the benefits that flow from the skills and experience of older Australians and if they want to stay in the workforce, we should do everything we can to make that happen.

“We've already seen that offering these kinds of incentives can have a real impact when it comes to changing employer behaviour and giving Australians who are out of work a foot in the door towards sustainable long term employment.

“I look forward to hearing the success stories of this new Jobs Bonus here in Maribyrnong where I hope it will help more of our older residents who are out of a job get back into the workforce.

The Jobs Bonus is one of a range of measures the Australian Government has in place to support older Australians who want to remain in the workforce.

More information is available at: http://www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/Programs/ExpPlus/Pages/default.aspx

Suburbs in the Maribyrnong electorate include: Aberfeldie, Airport West, Albion, Avondale Heights, Brooklyn (part), Essendon, Essendon North, Essendon West, Kealba, Keilor East, Keilor Park, Maribyrnong (part), Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, St Albans (part), Sunshine, Sunshine North and Tullamarine (part).

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Media Contact:
Jayne Edwards
Kieran Barns-Jenkins
9326 1300