Industry Leadership On Mature Aged Participation
18 February 2010
Australia's largest and most representative business organisation the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says that industry organisations and individual employers have new opportunities to work with government, employees and trade unions to provide pathways for greater participation by mature aged Australians in both the employed and volunteer workforce.
Speaking after today's first meeting of the Consultative Forum on Mature Age Participation, ACCI Chief Executive Peter Anderson said that industry should come forward with practical ideas on how the skills and experience of older Australians can be better harnessed for the benefit of our economy and society.
“Workplaces of the future will see more frequent transitions between work, education, family and retirement. As our economy grows, employers will need to source labour from all productive sectors of the community to meet demand. With people moving in and out of the workforce in more flexible ways the experience of older Australians can add to productivity and fill some of these labour gaps," he said.
The projected ageing of our population, as outlined in the 2010 Intergenerational Report Australia to 2050: Future Challenges, makes this objective a high national priority.
ACCI has welcomed the formation by the Australian Government of the Consultative Forum on Mature Age Participation, which was today addressed by Treasurer Wayne Swan and Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib.
“While government has a responsibility to put in place a conducive regulatory framework and adjust labour market programmes to meet these goals, industry should not wait for government to provide all of the answers or supply the skilled labour. Thinking ahead about work systems, helping staff manage retirement transitions and thinking laterally about retraining and skill development will help businesses get a edge on their competitors by tapping early into the mature aged labour pool," Peter Anderson said.