Hope at hand for older job seekers

The Government has this week cast a lifeline to mature-age job seekers living in regions where there are fewer employment opportunities for older workers, with West Australians the first to benefit.

The Career Transition Assistance (CTA) program announced in the May Budget will be trialled across five locations around the nation, including Perth North in Western Australia, Ballarat in Victoria, Somerset in Queensland, Central West in New South Wales and Adelaide South in South Australia.

The program provides practical assistance to help older Australians gain the contemporary skills they need to move into a job, according to Minister for Jobs and Innovation Senator Michaelia Cash.

It will consist of tailored, intensive workshops designed to build on transferable skills. Participants will attend one or both of two career transition courses – Tailored Career Assistance and Functional Digital Literacy. They will also have an opportunity to work with other mature age people looking for work, and be led by a facilitator experienced in career coaching or professional development.

The minister this week launched the program at North Metropolitan TAFE in Joondalup, one of three providers in Western Australia that will deliver CTA.

Ten organisations will provide CTA in the nominated regions, which were chosen because they reflect a range of labour market conditions.

To be eligible for a CTA place, people must be aged 50 or older and be registered with a jobactive provider in one of the five available regions.

From 1 July 2019, CTA will be expanded nationally and will be open to those aged at least 45.

The initiative is part of the Government’s $189.7 million More Choices for a Longer Life package.

Joining Ms Cash at the launch, West Australian MP Ian Goodenough said: “I am aware of constituents who find it difficult to gain employment over the age of 50. The average age in my electorate (of Moore) is 39 – just a few years younger than the group this program is designed for.”

For more information, read the Career Transition Assistance factsheet.

Would you be keen to re-enter the workforce if you received specialist training? Do you know of anyone who has missed out on getting a job because of their age?

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Written by Olga Galacho

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