Guide gives employers safer travel through ageing workforce

By: Chris Smith


Brisbane bus company Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel was the site chosen for the launch of a new guide to

Brisbane bus company Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel was the site chosen for the launch of a new guide to help employers develop age-friendly work practices.

Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel is proving experience does pay on the road with 95 percent of its drivers over 45-years-old.

Member for Mansfield Phil Reeves launched the Experience Pays Employer Guide to Recruiting, Retraining and Retaining Mature-Age Employees on behalf of Minister for Employment and industrial Relations John Mickel at the company's depot in Burbank today.

Reeves says the Experience Pays Employer Guide aims to assist employers attract and hold on to their older employees amidst an ageing and decreasing workforce.

"Up to 70 percent of Queensland employers are already affected by skills and labour shortages," he told the gathering.

"The effects of an ageing workforce and the reducing rate of new entrants are only going to continue."

"Businesses need to start looking at their employment practices now so they can cope with these changes."

Member for Mansfield Phil Reeves says the Experience Pays Awareness Strategy is a three year $6 million campaign to raise awareness about the ageing workforce and encourage employers to value their older employees.

"The Experience Pays Employer Guide includes a booklet and CD Rom with advice, strategies and examples to effectively recruit, retrain and retain older workers and case studies of employers already adopting and benefiting from age-friendly work practices," he says.

"Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel features as a case study on the CD Rom and is a great example of a business positively adapting to the ageing workforce."

General Manger Skye Naismith says the company has been developing strategies to manage its ageing workforce and recruit, retrain and retain older workers for over 10 years.

"We became aware that many of our existing drivers were approaching retirement age and were looking at reducing their hours, which would leave significant gaps to fill," Naismith says.

"After closely looking at our options we could see we would have trouble attracting younger people and believe that this industry has many benefits for mature-age people."

"We have found that older drivers are generally more experienced road users, are patient, flexible, have life skills they can call on in an emergency and provide good customer service, especially when dealing with school children.

"Many older people feel uneasy about applying for a job and make a point of telling us that they are old - often over 60 - and we assure them they're 'spring chickens' compared to some of our employees!"

Employers can get a free copy of the Experience Pays Employer Guide to Recruiting, Retraining and Retaining Mature-Age Employees by phoning 1800 630 647 or going to the Experience Pays website at www.experiencepays.com.au.

The Experience Pays Awareness Strategy is part of the State Government's $1 billion Queensland Skills Plan which aims to provide individuals and industry with the skills and workforce for the 21st Century.

For more information on the Experience Pays Awareness Strategy, visit www.experiencepays.com.au or call 1800 630 647.

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