Is the shortage of skills impacting your business? Having trouble finding experienced staff?

Mature skilled workers could be your solution!

The Canberra Business Chamber understands the challenges of business and industry and have partnered through an ACT Government (Skills Canberra) funded Mature Workers Employment Initiative in collaboration with CIT and other interested groups to engage and activate this core employee group. The program will help drive greater awareness amongst employers of the business benefits of hiring mature workers, address barriers experienced by mature workers – people aged 45 years or older and Australian Apprentices aged 25 years or older are considered mature workers – and help opening doors for job seekers seeking to upskill or reskill.

Mature workers as a source of wisdom capital: broadening perspectives

Like all employees, mature experienced workers bring a range/variety of skills and capabilities, talents, abilities and experience to the workplace. They generally bring wealth of life skills, a great work ethic and create immediate value for organisations, it has been shown that mature and experienced workers bring the following to organisations:

  • increased employee loyalty,
  • decreased employee turnover,
  • retention of institutional knowledge, memory,
  • increased employee productivity and;
  • helping hone young talents.

Employing mature and experienced workers ensures that your team best reflects the community in which it operates.

Numerous studies have shown employees and customers are more loyal to organisations that demonstrate they value diversity and inclusion and that their workforce reflects the community as a whole. Increasingly, evidence of inclusion is being taken into consideration when awarding contracts and tenders.

Mature and experienced employees bring a complete set of skills to your organisation and can help you understand what your customers or clients may need and give you an edge over your competitors by providing better service. In addition, a workforce that reflects the diversity of the wider community is likely to lead to greater customer loyalty and satisfaction.

For example, the ACT’s Tourism Industry continues to grow and make a significant contribution to the economy, with this growth some businesses across the Territory struggle to find the right skills and expertise. This sector is well placed to take advantage of mature knowledgeable workers through engaging and reskilling these experienced employees.

A schedule of information sessions will be published in the coming weeks. These sessions will give you the opportunity to learn more about the program and the opportunities and positive outcomes it provides. You will also meet fellow Canberra Business Chamber members who are already doing this.

Did you know:

  • 7.9 million Australians are aged 50 or above – almost a third of the population – and of whom nearly 4.3 million are aged 50-64m with over 3.6 million being aged 65 and above?
  • 80% feel younger than their age, with over half feeling at least 10 years younger than they are; however, 46% feel less valued by society than they did when they were younger?
  • 33% have experienced age discrimination, including 22% being related to employment – either at work or when job seeking?

COTA State of the Older Nation Report 2018

What can I do?

  • Register your interest by joining our mailing list or getting in touch with our Program Manager, Lilian Mellink on 02 6247 4199.
  • Consider attending one of our information session. A schedule of sessions will be published here in the coming weeks.
  • Use the information, stories and video on this page to help you gain a greater understanding of employing a mature worker.

Frequently asked questions

NO. Recruiting and retaining mature-age workers can be beneficial to businesses in many ways, including:

Mature-age workers are a smart response to a shrinking labour pool , especially if you are facing skills shortages.

Mature-age workers can bring indispensable skills, knowledge, awareness and life-experience to an organisation that a lot of younger may not be able to offer. Employers will not only receive the benefit of this knowledge and experience, younger workers will, too, as they learn from their mature, experienced and resilient colleagues. By recruiting mature-age workers, you could have the additional benefit of eligibility for a government subsidy.


YES. Numerous studies have shown employees and customers are more loyal to organisations that demonstrate they value diversity and inclusion and that their workforce reflects the community as a whole. There is a strategic business advantage of having employees who reflect the diversity of the customer base as the Australian population ages. There is also increasingly evidence of inclusion is being taken into consideration when awarding contacts and tenders. Retention of mature age workers can help maintain corporate memory and save employers the cost of re’inventing the wheel.

NO. Younger people are twice as likely to miss work through illness as their older colleagues, according to a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

NO. There is scarce evidence suggesting that productivity declines with age. Taken as a whole, mature workers tend to be more reliable and show lower rates of absenteeism. Given the age-related declines in strength, stamina, and response speed, jobs that are physically demanding or highly paced may be suitable for mature workers. In contrast, flexible work schedules or alternative work arrangements (e.g. working from home) may also be suitable. Evidence also indicates that they often perform as effectively as their younger counterparts.

YES. Mature workers have high loyalty and reduced staff turnover and re-training costs.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Mobility Survey 2013, workers aged over 45 who have been employed at a business for more than 12 months are far less likely to change jobs than workers aged 20–34 years.

High loyalty and retention/ reduced staff turnover and re-training cost. Large market (4 million Australians have a disability)

The Mature Workers Grants Program is an initiative of the ACT Government Skills Canberra