Targeted skills program a boost for mature-age people looking for work

A woman with short brown hair and a striped jumper, smiling face on.

Margo in Queensland found work after receiving training through the Career Transition Assistance program.

This story was first published on Tuesday 11 December 2018. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

More than 18,500 mature-age people seeking work across five locations around Australia can now access extra help to become more competitive in their local job market.

Older unemployed people can have a tougher time re-entering the workforce. They stay unemployed for longer than other job seekers, with those aged over 55 on average remaining unemployed for 75 weeks, compared with 48 weeks across all age groups, according to ABS Labour Force data.

In July 2018 the Australian Government launched a program that provides practical assistance to help older unemployed people improve their skill set, understand local opportunities and find employment.

The Career Transition Assistance trial currently operates in five trial regions:

  • Perth North, Western Australia
  • Somerset, Queensland
  • Adelaide South, South Australia
  • Central West, New South Wales
  • Ballarat, Victoria

Two courses are available:

  • Tailored Career Assistance, to give participants a better understanding of available job opportunities in their local area. It helps them to tailor their job applications based on their skills and experience, and helps build their confidence.
  • Functional Digital Literacy, to help participants develop their ICT skills, giving them confidence to use different types of technology such as computers, smartphones, tablets, apps and social media.

Those eligible can participate in one or both courses, depending on their needs.

Although the program is still relatively new, it’s already having an impact.

Margo Buckton, from Somerset in Brisbane, came to Career Transition Assistance with a solid business administration background. However, she lacked the confidence that she would find work and be given the chance to use her skills again.
Happily, Margo found a job after participating in the Functional Digital Literacy course.
‘I really enjoyed being a part of CTA. I learned some new skills which I’ll be able to use in my new position.
‘I totally believe in this program. I learned computer skills and got help with my CV and career guidance—but importantly CTA gave me belief in myself again,’ Margo said.

From July 2019, Career Transition Assistance will be rolled out nationally and the eligibility age will be lowered to 45, meaning around 180,000 people will have access to the program.
Read more about Career Transition Assistance.

Further information

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

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.