Employers offer advice for mature age workers

Older man in red shirt standing in front of petrol station

Mature age workers, like Edward Bannah, are valued in many workplaces for their skills and experience, but employers say older workers are not always great at putting themselves forward for jobs.

This story was first published on Wednesday 26 September 2018. If you wish to use this content, please contact media@dese.gov.au to confirm that the information is still current.

The advice from employers for mature age workers is to not hide their light under a bushel.

In a survey conducted by the Department of Jobs and Small Business, employers said mature age people need to be more effective about demonstrating their skills and experience.

The Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences asked employers for their ideas on what could be done to improve the prospects of mature age people looking for a job. Many employers spoke highly of the skills and experience mature age people have to offer. In particular, they said, they value their reliability, strong work ethic and communication skills.

Employers urged mature age workers to be more confident when putting themselves forward for work, particularly when demonstrating how their skills and experience match the job requirements.

Another big tip was for mature age job applicants to approach employers in person.

Employers also suggested that mature age people can improve their job prospects by keeping their skills up-to-date, especially their computer and technology skills.

According to the ABS, there are 90,000 unemployed mature age Australians aged 55 years and over, an increase of 10% over the year to July 2018.

Once unemployed, mature age people face greater challenges re-entering the workforce. Statistics show their average duration of unemployment is 75 weeks, compared with 48 weeks across all age groups. More than one third (37%) of unemployed mature age people are long-term unemployed (52 weeks or more) compared with 24% across all age groups.

Read the report: Improving the Employment Prospects of Mature Age Job Seekers on the LMIP website.

Read more employers’ recruitment insights.

For useful tips from employers for mature age job seekers, read Employers' tips for mature age job seekers.

To find out about incentives available to employers, read about Restart – help to employ mature workers.

Correct at time of publication.