TOUGH MARKET: If you lose your job past the age of 45, you are in the hardest age bracket to find work again.
TOUGH MARKET: If you lose your job past the age of 45, you are in the hardest age bracket to find work again. Keagan Elder

Older workers end up on scrap heap

AFTER 500 or more applications, eight interviews, and only two short-term contracts over the past four years, I can truly say job ageism is alive and well in the Brisbane (Queensland) job market. This journey has been disappointing and depressing.

When it comes to the Australian workforce and current human resource practices, it appears the older you are, the more sought-after you aren't.

If you lose your job past the age of 45, you are in the hardest age bracket to find work again, thanks to age discrimination.

I am not alone in sharing this viewpoint as there are other older workers who feel the same way... we are locked out of the job market.

With three HR-related tertiary qualifications (postgraduate and undergraduate level), TAFE HR certificates and two national HR awards under my belt, all have had is rejection.

So, out of frustration, I formed a support network for like-minded older workers (friends) two years ago. We know the stress that comes with endless job sharing and we have supported each other.

Earlier this year, I met with federal, state and local politicians. I meet with Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson, on Thursday, September 6, to discuss issues around job ageism and older workers.

With underemployment, workforce casualisation, low superannuation balances for many workers and technological changes meaning many jobs are disappearing, the need to respond to the plight of older workers is significant. Older workers are a talent pool we need to nurture and support through broad-based programs accessible to all in the Australian economy.

TONY WIGGINS

Founder, Re-think Re-engage Australia