Urgent action needed to save older Aussies from scrapheap: Anglicare

Government must act now to save older Australians from the jobs scrapheap: Anglicare.

jobs queue

Australians are living longer and more than two-thirds* are concerned that their retirement income won’t last as long as they will. An obvious solution is to continue working for longer, but Anglicare Australia says the job market and Newstart are failing older Australians.

The social advocacy organisation wants the Government to overhaul employment services for older people in the wake of its Jobs Availability Snapshot.

Roland Manderson, acting executive director of Anglicare Australia, says the jobs market is failing people who need the most help to find work.

“Our research shows that at least five disadvantaged jobseekers are competing for each job at their level,” he said.

“Older people face even tougher odds. The job market is changing fast and age discrimination makes it harder to compete.”

Mr Manderson said the low rate of the Newstart allowance created particular problems for older people.

“The stereotype is that Newstart is for younger people, but that’s a myth. Around half of all people on Newstart are mature age jobseekers – and the number of older Australians on Newstart is growing by 10,000 a year.

“Instead of preparing to retire, many people are now selling their homes and spending their savings. Nobody should be forced to retire into poverty.”

Anglicare Australia wants the employment services system reformed.

“It’s time to overhaul the Jobactive network,” said Mr Manderson. “It’s taking an average of five years to find work for those who need the most help. And that’s bad news for older people. Once a person over 50 has been unemployed for over a year, they’re unlikely to ever find a job.

“We need to offer tailored support to older people looking for work. That means smaller caseloads for Jobactive staff, more time to work with jobseekers and less time wasted on compliance.

“We particularly need to abandon the cruel, pointless changes of recent years.

“People over 55 used to be allowed to meet their mutual obligation requirements with volunteering. That makes a lot of sense for many, given their strengths and circumstances. The recent decision to take that option away from people is counter-productive and must be reversed.

“And if we want to stop people from retiring into poverty, then we must raise Newstart and stop lifting the pension age.

“These changes are all urgent. If we don’t fix this broken system, we will be forcing people to spend their older years in poverty, starting with the unreasonable expectation that they find a job that isn’t there.”

Anglicare Australia reported earlier this month that more than half a million people had been suspended from Centrelink payments for not trying hard enough to land a job – but the Jobs Availability Snapshot showed that the jobs weren’t there.

Are you planning to work past the Age Pension age? Are you struggling to find work? And survive on Newstart?

*YourLifeChoices 2018 Ensuring Financial Security in Retirement Survey.

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    COMMENTS

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    Grazza
    23rd Oct 2019
    10:05am
    Pity Anglicare Australia doesn't actually offer jobs to older Australians! :(
    Polly Esther
    23rd Oct 2019
    10:28am
    Feel free to contact Anglicare and proffer this thought of yours, I believe they may welcome you.
    GeorgeM
    23rd Oct 2019
    11:53pm
    If they did, the queues would go around a few blocks! A key problem why "It’s taking an average of five years to find work..." is because these Jobactive agencies are merely creating income for themselves rather than getting an applicant into a job fast.

    Just to recall - the old CES used to help people get into jobs, however that system was destroyed by, guess who, Tony Abbott, when he was Employment Minister under Howard, as he split the CES and passed on the job searching role to private sector leeches called the Job Network at that time. Some people cannot do anything good! Most remember how he joined up with Hockey to stuff up Age Pensioners through the changed Assets Test, besides trying to do many other nasties which never got accepted in parliament.

    Hard to find a decent solution anymore. It is best if they scrapped these Jobactive agencies except for those who ask for help, and let the rest look for jobs themselves as Newstart isn't something which motivates anyone to stay on it anyway. Also, bring back Age Pension age back to 65 yrs, as it disgusting to force people with no hope of getting jobs to keep struggling to 67.
    Horace Cope
    23rd Oct 2019
    10:14am
    I'm now retired and not looking for employment but that wasn't always the case. Having been made redundant as an "older" person, finding meaningful employment was extremely difficult. Many applications were sent out and very few companies even acknowledged that they had received the application with a low number of invitations for an actual interview. Employers know the rules and there is little to no chance of succeeding with an ageist claim with letters of rejection disclosing that the applicant was underqualified, overqualified, right for the position but a more suitable applicant was found and other meaningless trivia.

    There is a similarity with the ACCC looking out for banks and keeping an eye on fuel companies with this topic; nothing can really be done to change things. Firstly one has to prove that an application was dealt with under an age discrimination policy and this is almost impossible to prove. Secondly, how much time and money can an applicant afford to waste as the discrimination is most certainly extremely difficult to prove unless there is a whistleblower.
    Anonymous
    23rd Oct 2019
    10:43am
    Was at the place at age 48, quite a while without work, no new start as my wife had a job. Finally found a job in hospitality because I spoke some other languages other than English.
    Never got a well paid job again like I had before I was made redundant but then that taught me to tighten the belt even before reaching 65!
    Horace Cope
    23rd Oct 2019
    10:48am
    You're right about the belt tightening Cowboy Jim, I suppose every cloud has a silver lining.
    TREBOR
    23rd Oct 2019
    11:08am
    Same here CJ - I was on $100k money pa at that time (plus) - the 'manager' arranged to shuffle me out while I was keeping the place afloat, and then crashed it into a wall... he copped his nice fat redundancy - went into the same line of business on his own - and went out feet first in two years...

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke.. but he sure hurt a lot of good people... and now he hides away - I think he feels one of them is coming for him ....
    KSS
    23rd Oct 2019
    1:25pm
    Whilst I empathise with being out of work over 45 (twice in my case the last time at age 55) spare a thought for some employers. I was in a position where I could hire staff and contacted one of the jobsearch agencies. I specifically said I wanted someone over the age of 50 who had office management skills, good communication and wanted to work with people from overseas. I was told by the agency I could not put an age on the position. To which I responded then don't bother sending me a recent university graduate with less than 20 years work experience because they won't be considered!

    23rd Oct 2019
    10:16am
    We are no longer as flexible as we once were. In my 70s now I have some trouble with new technology, cannot see little screens when the sun shines, buttons too tiny etc. I DO understand that employers do not want to give jobs to the likes of me. We have to come to terms with the ageing process and enjoy our remaining years, even if the money is sometimes tighter than it used to be. No longer own a car, public transport is good where I live but I looked for that when I finished working. Do not retire in places with limited services for a start.
    Farside
    23rd Oct 2019
    11:09am
    all good points Cowboy. It's not hard to justify preferencing a younger job applicant over older applicants, all else being equal. The older person is likely better equipped to cope with the circumstances and have the resilience to battle through knowing there is a pension at the end of the tunnel. He or she has had opportunity to accumulate assets and savings that will support him or her through unemployment/underemployment whereas the younger person has had less opportunity and still has his or her working life ahead of them. The silver lining is that it means less likelihood of the younger person relying upon parents for support.
    MICK
    23rd Oct 2019
    10:45am
    Nothing new. Its an old story.
    Polly Esther
    23rd Oct 2019
    12:15pm
    Yes MICK so right you are mate and the story has been done like a dinner; all the best :))
    tisme
    23rd Oct 2019
    10:51am
    try caring for adult family for 40 odd years , if your caring days finish then what ?? no home ownership, no superannuation , newstart waits for you , whose going to hire you at 60++ especially if you have your own health issues ?? let alone no job skills
    Farside
    23rd Oct 2019
    11:15am
    these are not your typical circumstances for much if not most of the older population, and certainly should not become the baseline for policy development ... if the fates have dealt you this hand then you already know the life journey will not be easy, but on the plus side there is welfare and social security support and the knowledge there is a pension at the end of the tunnel.
    Blinky
    23rd Oct 2019
    11:02am
    Good points but do our pollies care? They dont have to worry about a pension, centrelink, asset tedt, incime test, whether their Homes (an sure all of them have more than one!)), retirement age, etc. That akso apples to so-called "financial gurus" and treasurers who are the 9nes that are always trying to advice on how the givt can save money by taking money off poor old retirees.
    WHO IS LISTENING???
    musicveg
    26th Oct 2019
    1:56am
    Yes Blinky those who write the rules do not have to worry about them.
    TREBOR
    23rd Oct 2019
    11:04am
    Been that way for over 25 years now - the re-introduction of the master servant relationship and the robber baron program have been going along swimmingly.

    I often wonder if the utter fools pursuing this form of genuine oppression actually realise that they are not better than some tinpot dictatorial despot, and that their actions are purely psychopathic....

    Look at the Reichsfuhrer Social Security (SS) and her comment - right above this post as I typed... little to no idea and even less giving a damn about anyone but self, but it will all be good for the people and the nation, you mark their words...

    Gotta go - take the ex to the doctors... I'll be back to slice and dice later... meantime - Endeavour To Persevere!
    Boomah52
    23rd Oct 2019
    11:22am
    It's mostly all about fitting in to the "team" these days. Team leaders, who tuck the team's work under their arm and take it to meetings as their own, invariably have a big say on any new team employees. An applicant older and more worldly wise lol.
    TREBOR
    23rd Oct 2019
    8:14pm
    Boy Colonels and Girl Generals - not worth a tinker's brass razoo...

    Could lead a hungry dog to his dinner...
    Bundabergian
    23rd Oct 2019
    9:05pm
    Hubby is one of Aussie's more senior (and respected) media managers having been director of news for most commercial channels in his day. Plus been very successful PR manager in several high level positions. He applied to local Dept of something for PR job. Agent said he was easily the most qualified person in the state, let alone in our small town and available now. Dept of whatever were not interested in even meeting him!. When pushed by incredulous agent they said "We don't think he would fit in with our team"... Bizarre! he is one of the most respected in his field and has his old teams of young journos still calling him for advice or just to catch up. What must their team be like? Young perhaps?
    Ted Wards
    23rd Oct 2019
    11:23am
    We have several agencies that rent office space from us. One we can hear every word that's said...this is word for word what the officer says "Your 61 and have diabetes type 2, your sick and no one will hire you," or he has literally had some women in tears because he just doesn't care. What needs to change is the attitude of some of these so call experts. We've had four in the last 12 months from the same two companies, none of whom lasted beyond their probation period they were so bad.
    inextratime
    23rd Oct 2019
    12:14pm
    When I was 50 I answered an ad for a job in the city. The receptionist asked me how soon I could get to the office for an interview. I was there in under an hour. However when they realised I was 50 they told me the job had been taken. I then worked for a company for 18years and at 67 they suggested 'I leave'. The alternative was to be put under supervision of a graduate to whom I could impart all my knowledge in return for three days work a week. I left. The pension was then the only option .
    KSS
    23rd Oct 2019
    1:30pm
    That sounds more like a matter of pride for you than anything else.

    You could have stayed for three days a week and helped train the next generation (albeit a graduate) and with less resonsibility. You chose not to. Had you really wanted (or needed) to keep working would it really have been that bad? In fact it is a role for which many people would be well suited.
    sunnyOz
    23rd Oct 2019
    2:52pm
    Inextratime - your experience could have been me! I live 42kms from Brisbane centre, and for so many years, aged 50 and on, I would apply for jobs in my area, only to be told I needed to go for an interview in Brisbane. By the time I got ready, went in, parked, had interview, and then came home - there went half a day. Like you, I would apply for a position, get a phone call and be told - "you are exactly what we are looking for". Go in for inteview, and like you, get in there, and be told the position has been filled. That was after the very obvious surprise when I came in.
    The worst - I will NEVER forget - I went in for an interview, receptionist asked for my paperwork (licenses, certificates, etc), and gave me a form to fill out. As I was filling it out, she came to me and told me the position had been filled. I handed to form back and asked why they hadn't phone me to say so - I told them they had wasted my time, and left. I them remembered my folio and wanted it back - as I walked in the foyer, I heard the girl talking to someone else behind a partition. And I heard her chuckling saying something about employers not wanting old ducks for their company. When she came out, I told her "I herd what you said". She went bright red, and I asked for my folio back. She gave it to me - after retrieving it from the bin!
    I wrote a formal letter of complaint and lodged an anti discrimination complaint - it was a farce. Both girls (aged around 20) lied through their teeth.
    From then on, I refused to go to interviews in the city. I am now on the pension but only recently saw a casual part-time job, in a field I have worked in, with all the qualifications and experience I have, within walking distance of my house. When I rang up, again, I was told all interviews were done in their city office. So I declined. Funny enough, the job has only recently been re-advertised, so I went to the company direct and handed them my details. Again I was told only their city office handled the hiring.
    East of Toowoomba
    23rd Oct 2019
    12:14pm
    A 61 year old neighbour is on the single rate of Newstart. She has only 10% vision in one eye and a dodgy hip so no longer able to work in nursing although she has worked as a volunteer in our country town for a couple of years. What she needs is a few volunteer to help her with home maintenance. The 80 year old, high set house needs painting, but she can't afford to pay a painter, nor can she undertake the work herself. The interior needs work too but it will never be possible so long as she is on Newstart

    Located a country town, the value of the home ($230K) makes it not worth selling because she could only buy another old house. Houses rental out from around $350 pw in this area and the occasional flat/unit that comes up for rent is around $250 pw so her options are quite limited.

    This is the lot of many older Newstart claimants. Many are still paying off homes when they lose their jobs and some may even have young adult or teenage students still living at home when they lose that job. The current rate is not enough for them to keep home and family together and it is very sad to see the choices people are forced to make under very difficult circumstances, should they lose their job 10 or 15 years before they had planned to retire.
    inextratime
    23rd Oct 2019
    12:24pm
    Community workshops are the answer. There are a stack of jobs that need doing but the cost of labour prohibits it. Take recycling for example. Too expensive to sort to make it worth while. Set up community workshops, employ Pensioners, pay them a pension supplement wage. Work in teams with the more agile supporting the less agile. Create community communications, reduce lonliness, etc etc. Too hard ? Probably but going to Mars is easy !
    KSS
    23rd Oct 2019
    1:32pm
    Yes well they got rid of work for the dole!
    TREBOR
    23rd Oct 2019
    8:16pm
    Aye, argh, Skipper - load them new bunch of slaves into hold and we set sail for the New Lands on the high tide...
    ex PS
    24th Oct 2019
    6:14pm
    Work for the dole sounds good, untill paid jobs start being taken by work for the dolers.
    It's just another way for business to undermine wages and conditions. It's a wonder people are still falling for the idea.
    If the government would just take its head from between its own cheeks and actually start some long term infrastructure projects, we may start tobsee some improvement to the economy. But as we have seen, long term planning doesn't seem to attract votes.
    musicveg
    26th Oct 2019
    2:16am
    Yes work for dole is just slave labor in disguise, if the jobs are there then give them a proper paying job. The Government could easily create heaps of real jobs fixing up many things that are being neglected. Councils used to have too many workers but at least the jobs were done, now it is out on tender to private business they do bare minimum. Example cutting the grass in recreational areas or public areas, it is never done properly anymore, lots of weeds and no cutting of edges, just a quick whip round on a ride on mower and it is done.
    Bundabergian
    23rd Oct 2019
    12:50pm
    I am an active and fit 61 one year old. Have two degrees (in science and engineering) and a ton of experience in management. Recently returned from travelling I have been applying for jobs for which I (and a local agent) think I am very (maybe over) qualified. Have not made any short lists, worst seems to be local council and public servants who stick to the career public servants they know. And I recently had a knock back from Woolies for night shelf stacking! You get the the stage of giving up, if only for the preservation of your self esteem...
    KSS
    23rd Oct 2019
    1:36pm
    I hear you. The last time I was made redundant I applied for 600 jobs. I was just applying for anything I could physically do (as was required) not just those I was qualified to do. I was told after one interview, that my answers to questions were at too high a level for the role for which I was applying. My response? They missed out on an opportunity to pay less for a higher level of experience!

    Eventually it becomes a numbers game. The more applications, the greater the chance of getting an interview. Like you, I didn't get many but then again you only need the right one. I have been in that role now for almost 10 years.
    thommo
    23rd Oct 2019
    1:03pm
    Australians of all ages, but especially those about to retire and those already retired, should be hammering our government to legislated a respectable and decent age pension..
    Nothing of his bullshit about it being "welfare"..The age pension is an entitlement and is our right..
    We've paid taxes all of our lives with the rightful expectation that we get an age pension if the circumstances exist, and to be told that the budget 'bottom line' can't afford it, is totally unacceptable.
    Australia is a rich country and we pay our politicians good salaries and perks and lurks (pensions and helicopter rides etc), so they can afford to pay a decent age pension.
    If they don't, let them know they will be turfed out of office at the first opportunity (especially the current LNP).
    GeorgeM
    23rd Oct 2019
    11:54pm
    Absolutely spot on, thommo!
    Aussie
    23rd Oct 2019
    3:37pm
    If the Gov. continues penalizing the pensioner there is practically no chance to save older Aussies from scrapheap even if you can get a job because your pension will be reduced if you earn a bit extra (Including Work Bonus - https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/work-bonus)

    Well as Mick is saying ..."Nothing new. It’s an old story." and he is correct but some people in this forum have strong believe that we can live nice in Australia with only your pension as income well I challenge anyone that can demonstrate in detail that that is possible taking in consideration rental assistance and acceptable place to live also considering all type of expenses (Medical, petrol utilities etc etc) and be able to have a cup of coffee in a coffee place one's a week.
    Intellego
    23rd Oct 2019
    4:35pm
    The blame for ANY Australians being on the scrapheap lies squarely at the feet of the incompetent, heartless LNP government.
    SuziJ
    24th Oct 2019
    12:19am
    My ex was made redundant @ age 52. Was on the carer payment until July this year. Then 'knocked back' to Newstart as he wasn't doing 40 hrs per week in supervising me with my medication, showers, etc. We could prove 30 hrs per week, but at the time of him going onto the carer payment 9 years ago, he only had to do 21 hrs per week.

    Now on newstart, he's too qualified for most IT positions except that he doesn't have a degree to prove that the can do the work - that was his employer's position when he was made redundant, even though he had done the same work of 17+ years.

    He has medical conditions of his own that used to be included in the DSP criteria, but no longer are, so he can't get that.

    He now has to wait until he's 67 to even apply for the Age pension, which is in just over 5 years, but he still has to try to find a job - not easy when there's none around for him. There are jobs @ Woolies, Coles & Officeworks, but you have to apply online, and you have to be fit enough to do them in the first place, as you're on your feet all the time.
    Farside
    24th Oct 2019
    11:49am
    in his 60s, out of IT workforce for nine years, same role for 17 years, no degree ... it would be challenging for your ex to find any job in IT with that profile, I'm not so sure "he's too qualified for most IT positions". There are plenty of freelancing opportunities in IT so perhaps he should look at these to see if something suitable.
    musicveg
    26th Oct 2019
    2:20am
    Check out Airtasker, always a lot of IT jobs on there, or join LinkenIN.
    Teacher
    24th Oct 2019
    2:11am
    While they are considering jobs for older people they need to look at the difficulty for aged people with genuine disability problems to obtain the Disability Support Pension under the new 'points' system. There are 190 questions in the application form and evidence such as medical specialist reports are required. How can a person say, aged 59, who broke his pelvis in a work accident and had a plunger-type mechanism inserted to help him walk pay to see a specialist if he is not working? He has been in pain ever since the accident and had to leave work because he could not do his job which required lifting, bending, climbing etc. - all now impossible for him, not to mention his losing his balance a lot. Centrelink put him on Newstart and he had to supply a Doctors certificate every so often to say he could not work. He applied for the Disability Support Pension but was knocked back because he didn't have specialists' reports and he didn't get the points required. At no time was he asked to have a medical examination by the Government Medical Doctor. Years ago that used to be the first thing they did when someone applied for the DSP. So, Yes, the whole job/aged people thing should certainly be overhauled.
    Teacher
    24th Oct 2019
    2:11am
    While they are considering jobs for older people they need to look at the difficulty for aged people with genuine disability problems to obtain the Disability Support Pension under the new 'points' system. There are 190 questions in the application form and evidence such as medical specialist reports are required. How can a person say, aged 59, who broke his pelvis in a work accident and had a plunger-type mechanism inserted to help him walk pay to see a specialist if he is not working? He has been in pain ever since the accident and had to leave work because he could not do his job which required lifting, bending, climbing etc. - all now impossible for him, not to mention his losing his balance a lot. Centrelink put him on Newstart and he had to supply a Doctors certificate every so often to say he could not work. He applied for the Disability Support Pension but was knocked back because he didn't have specialists' reports and he didn't get the points required. At no time was he asked to have a medical examination by the Government Medical Doctor. Years ago that used to be the first thing they did when someone applied for the DSP. So, Yes, the whole job/aged people thing should certainly be overhauled.
    Chooky
    24th Oct 2019
    10:01am
    Ageism is alive and well while we have a government that promotes the notion that older people are a burden. What did you expect voters?
    Bundabergian
    24th Oct 2019
    10:26am
    Sooo, I think we all agree the system is crap and needs a serious overhaul and this government is unlikely to do it. Is the opposition any better? Are any potential governments? They don't always do what they promise! What do we do about it? Or do we just give up and move to another country where the cost of living is lower and they actually respect their older people? Any ideas?
    ex PS
    24th Oct 2019
    6:16pm
    We keep voting for the other guy untill we get one that does keep its election promisses. Rewarding failure promotes failure.
    musicveg
    26th Oct 2019
    2:23am
    Sign up with raise the rate: https://raisetherate.org.au/
    musicveg
    26th Oct 2019
    2:25am
    The whole system needs an overhaul, but it is not going to happen with this current bunch in Government who really do not care about those who are struggling, as long as they are not they do not care. Check out: https://raisetherate.org.au/


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