Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Recognising the Value of our Mature Age Workers

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today released the Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services’ (FaCS) Mature Workers’ Strategy, which is the first stage of her department’s commitment to retaining mature age employees.

“The Australian Government is committed to removing barriers for mature workers to remain in, or return to, the workforce. Cultural change is needed but it cannot be carried out by the Government alone,” Senator Patterson said.

“I encourage other organisations to follow my department’s lead and develop a proactive strategy for the retention of their mature workers.

“Businesses need to be aware that mature-aged Australians contribute valuable skills, experience and knowledge to businesses and communities.

“The Prime Minister’s Community-Business Partnership Committee, of which I am the deputy Chair, is investigating how we can remove barriers for mature workers and increase their participation.

“Late last year the Australian Public Service Commissioner launched an initiative to address actively the recruitment and retention of mature-aged workers in the Australian Public Service.

“My department is the first Australian Government agency to launch such a strategy. I hope other departments and agencies follow soon.

“This strategy has been developed after surveying more than 100 mature aged workers in the department to determine their retirement intentions and identify barriers to their continuing work beyond the age at which they would normally retire.

“Not only is it a priority for FaCS to retain its mature workers, it is committed to recruiting older workers, in fact, more than 10 per cent of the recent intake from its recruitment program are over 40 years old,” Senator Patterson said.

“Through retaining their mature workers the department will benefit in many ways. These workers have both experience and corporate knowledge which can in turn be passed on to younger employees.”

More information on the FaCS Mature Workers’ Strategy can be found on the FaCS website, or phone (02) 6200 9599.