The Coalition Government is increasing support for older Australians to upskill or transition into new careers through the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program.
The Government is investing $17.4 million over four years into the Skills Checkpoint Program to provide up to 20,000 eligible Australians aged 45-70 with advice and guidance on transitioning into new career opportunities.
The program will target those currently employed who may be at risk of unemployment, or those recently unemployed, and not registered for assistance through an employment services program.
Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash, said the program supports older Australians in need of a hand to stay in work or looking for new opportunities.
“Older Australians are our most experienced workforce, contributing greatly to the economy and we want to make sure we are providing access to the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Minister Cash said.
“The Skills Checkpoint Program uses individually tailored assessments and referrals, to provide workers with advice on how best to use their existing skills in the workforce, or identify opportunities for upskilling.
“It can also refer participants to educational and training opportunities to assist with transitioning to a new role in their current industry or switching to an entirely new career.”
The BUSY Group Ltd will deliver the program in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. VERTO Ltd will run the program in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said from 1 January 2019, older Australians will also be able to access up to $2,200 (GST inclusive) to undertake training opportunities identified through the Skills Checkpoint.
“The Skills and Training Incentive will offer matched funding to ensure that older Australians have access to upskilling and reskilling opportunities to enable them to remain in the workforce,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
“The $19.3 million Skills and Training Incentive will provide funding for up to 3,600 places per year.”
“It will provide vital funding to assist older Australians to proactively take control of their careers so that they can stay in workforce for as long as they choose.”
The participant or their current employer must match the Government’s contribution, ensuring a joint investment in the skills development of older Australians.