MEDIA RELEASE: Over 50’s employment pilots – a good step forward but more needed 28 August 201719/11/2017Job-seeking Leading seniors’ advocacy group, COTA Australia, welcomes the announcement today of the rollout of trial sites for the Career Transition Assistance Program aimed at helping bring older Australians back into the workforce. The trials will be rolled out from mid next year in Ballarat in Victoria, Somerset in Queensland, central west NSW, Adelaide south in South Australia, and Perth north in Western Australia. Chief Executive of COTA Australia, Ian Yates, welcomed the announcement of the trials this morning, as “one important step in mitigating the myriad of barriers that prevent mature-age Australians from returning to the workforce.” “We welcome the government’s approach to trialling the Career Transition Assistance Program and learning the lessons from these trials to inform the national roll out of the program. “We look forward to announcements soon about Pathway to Work pilots, and the expansion of the National Work Experience Program, to other components of the overall Mature Employment Package announced in the last Budget. “While we welcome the government’s efforts to remove some of the barriers older Australians face when returning to the workforce, more is required to address the full extent of the problem. “It is correct that some older Australians will benefit from reskilling – including training in computer and information technology – and job search techniques, resulting in greater chances of finding work. “However, in many cases the prevalence and complexity of age discrimination means that skilled and technologically savvy mature age workers will still be locked out of jobs. “Age discrimination is still rife in Australia, with more than one quarter of mature age Australians experiencing age discrimination at work. “Discrimination against older Australians not only has a negative impact on the wellbeing of older Australians, but it also creates significant issues for our society and the economy. “The government must take the initiative, working with the sector, to lead the cultural and attitudinal change that Australia needs if it is to capitalise on its ageing population,” said Ian Yates. Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Bronte Kerr 0411 676 269 COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing COTAs in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.