A Mature Labour Market Embraces Mature Aged Workers
30 March 2011
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Australia’s largest and most representative business organisation congratulates the Gillard government in its promotion of mature age employment participation at today’s Investing in Experience event in Sydney attended by the Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan MP, the Minister for Employment Participation and Childcare, the Hon Kate Ellis MP and Australian business leaders.
ACCI Chief Executive, Peter Anderson said “Australian employers need to develop innovative strategies to attract and retain valued employees to meet the vital skills needs of their business now and into the future.”
“Over time, companies that employ more mature aged people will develop a competitive edge as labour markets contract. ACCI strongly supports flexible and innovative approaches being taken by the Australian business community to attracting and retaining mature aged workers. Facilitative workplace cultures and workplace regulation are needed for that ambition to be realised” Peter Anderson.
The Australian government, in partnership with the Australian business community will need to direct considerable effort to targeted up-skilling and re-skilling its mature aged worker population if it is to meet the skills needs of a changing workplace landscape.
The ACCI National Workplace Skills Survey, launched last week by federal Employment Minister Chris Evans, found that 92.5% of employers employ mature age workers, although the intensity is varied. It is estimated that workers aged over 45 will provide up to 85% of workforce growth in the next decade.
The ACCI research project, It’s Not About Age, launched in February by the Hon Lin Thorpe, Tasmanian Minister for Education and Skills, focuses on building positive employment and training outcomes for employers and mature age apprentices to ensure that the Australian business community has access to a highly skilled and motivated workforce.
The research finds that employers can reap considerable benefits including stronger productivity growth in the earlier stages of a mature age apprenticeship compared to a standard apprenticeship, and greater retention of skilled staff and ongoing employee loyalty following employment of a mature aged person into an apprenticeship.
As the Australian economy returns to rapid growth, it will be imperative that we have the required pool of skills and knowledge to drive productivity and that we don’t suffer from a skills and labour shortages that constrain growth. Utilising the existing skills that mature aged workers have already developed can shortcut recruitment and settling in time for new employees.