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Barriers to Mature Age Labour Force Engagement in Australia

Report On the 2011-12 National Survey On The Barriers to Employment For Mature Age People

Australia faces significant challenges in coming years from an ageing population as the large cohort of ‘baby boomers’ approach retirement.

Increasing the relatively low employment participation of mature age people (aged 45 years and over in this report) in Australia is an effective means of meeting the economic challenges presented by this significant demographic change. 

This will help these workers fund their retirement, broaden the tax base and, most importantly, fully utilise the skills, experience and mentoring abilities of the mature age population.

In response to these challenges, successive federal governments have introduced a number of policies and programs to increase the mature age employment rate, in areas such as re-training and re-skilling, Age Pension and superannuation reform, and Age Discrimination legislation. However, significant barriers to improving mature age employment still exist.

The first report for the Consultative Forum on Mature Age Participation prepared on behalf of the Forum by National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre (NSPAC) identified 14 barriers preventing mature age people participating in the workforce.

The barriers cover diverse issues, including illness and injury, re-training, the tax transfer system, superannuation, and age discrimination. This report seeks to measure the prevalence of these barriers using results from the first nationally representative Survey of Barriers to Employment for Mature Age Australians of 3007 Australians aged 45-74 years.

This report also analyses how the revalence of these barriers differ by demographic and economic characteristics, examines the degree to which individual barriers interact, assesses the impact of barriers on hours lost to the Australian labour market and economy, and contrasts the findings of the survey with the views of employers in the 2010 DEEWR Survey of Employers.

To download the full report, please complete and submit the form below.

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