95 per cent of over 60s let down by government program that was meant to help them

The federal government has revealed just how much it failed at getting older Australians to join a scheme that was

The federal government has revealed just how much it failed at getting older Australians to join a scheme that was meant to benefit them.

Only 1735 people were involved in the scheme in its first year, which was about 5 per cent of the government’s target to have 32,000 older Australians in the Restart program.

The Restart scheme aimed to get over 50s back into work by providing a wage subsidy of up to $10,000 to employers who give jobs to mature workers who have been unemployed for more than six months.

“It’s the government’s program that needs a restart as it’s proving to be a dismal failure,” opposition spokesman Brendan O’Connor​ said.

“No amount of rhetorical flourish from the Prime Minister can hide the real reason the program doesn’t work – there simply are not the jobs available”.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash was quick to dismiss the claims the scheme was a failure, saying the government remains “firmly committed” to the program, which is part of a $1 billion investment to establish a single wage subsidy pool, reports Fairfax.

“Restart is a demand-driven programme and the government budgeted for a maximum uptake of 32,000,” she said.

With that said, Ms Cash has announced changes to the plan, including more incentives for employers such as the subsidy paid over 12 months rather than 24.

As Starts at 60 readers are aware, over 50s are some of the most discriminated in the workplace, and it goes to show how bad the problem is when a program that even gives employers a reason to take on seniors doesn’t help.

Even the previous Labor government wasn’t able to encourage employers to hire mature-age Australians –just 230 employers took advantage of a $1000 annual subsidy which was meant to benefit up to 10,000 employers.

It’s clear that more work needs to be done on reducing the stigma and developing a skills program that makes older workers more appealing.

But what do you think? How can employers really feel like they’ll be benefiting when they employ an older worker?

  1. Apart from a lack of employment available there are flaws with this program as an unemployed friend pointed out, today job applications are done online, and you cannot inform any employer that they will receive this money if they employ you, until you get to the interview stage. And so often they look at the application and see you are older and you never hear from them again

    • I have been leaving the first couple of decades, and my date of birth, off job applications for years. They don’t find out how old I am until I get to interview.

      • stnc  

        Exactly! If I were to leave my entire resume it’ll take up about 10 pages , from school days! It is so oblivious to all who refuse to see, that as far as 40yo are finding it harder to find work if they lose their jobs. I got shafted at the age of 53 I’m no 60 what are my chances (slim)? Besides where is the incentive for a senior, to go back into the work force, give up their pensions and be even more vulnerable because Governments* can’t budget* plan for the future* (they’ve known this was coming for decades) . I dare say the employers would be worried about their work care premiums hiring older, senior people!

  2. Sue  

    Maybe they could start by encouraging corporations such as energy Australia westpac ( and other banks) Telstra. To not send their call centres offshore!! There’s a huge bunch of jobs ideal for ageing workforce

  3. to few jobs, and 800 thousand unemployed, no hope for older Australian’s no matter what the incentive

  4. not really the car that was made, so much rod style reinvention?……..its all in the eye of the beholder…nice but, score 4/10

  5. How many seniors are recruited into the public service. Succession planning was the catch cry around the time I left, recruit, train and promote the young stars to create the managers of the future. The real stars left and went to the big money Private sector. The reality is many businesses are doing the same. The jobs aren’t there anyway.

  6. Why does that not surprise me, where does the Government get of saying it wonts to help the older person, When in fact all they do is put the older person down as take away from them what they can. just remember you will be out of a job one day. but then you have no worries with the pensions you get.

    • Rosanne many people in their 50’s can’t get work let alone in their early 60’s and they are to young to qualify for a pension they barely survive on $280 per week on the dole

    • Libbi I was unable to get work at the age of 43, then I applied for the job I had working with kids with disabilities because they needed older people who could manage the children, now that company is trying to get rid of their older staff in favour of a younger image for the company.

  7. not yet but im a selfunded retiree & if they touch what i have worked for all my life i promise blood will be spilt & it wont be mine mr turnboil

  8. Back in the 80’s we were told that computers will be doing all the work and we will be enjoying a life of leisure. The only problem is,nobody told us where the money was coming from for this life in Paradise.

  9. There are a lot of over 50’s already in the workforce but employers don’t get compensated. We are expected to work longer but once out of work there is only a slim chance of getting back in. I was unemployed when I was 57 took 7 months to find a job and 70 applications. Even then I was asked if I was going to be able to cope with the amount of work. Some of these people who asked this should see the amount of work I have to get through at my current job and in less than fulltime hours.

  10. in our workplace ages range from 19 years to 71 years.We find older workers do not tend to take sick leave unless they are actually sick,they also bring with them a lifetime of knowledge and common sense.The governments older employee incentive takes months to get,we are still waiting 15 months later….and still employ that staff member because we value them, not for any government handout.

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