Page 1223 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2015
business, government and community sectors ensured a constructive environment that allowed each participant to contribute their knowledge, experience and ideas under one roof. I do acknowledge Mr Doszpot’s attendance at the roundtable.
Representation at the roundtable included the Council on the Ageing ACT, the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Women, the ACT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer Ministerial Advisory Council, the ACT Human Rights Commission, ACT government directorates, the National Council on Women, the Canberra Business Chamber, National Seniors, Canberra Age-friendly City Network, Rotary ACT, ACT seniors clubs, ACT aged-care facilities, the local Aboriginal community, local recruitment agencies and representatives from the ACT business fraternity, including the Hellenic Club of Canberra and IGA supermarkets.
This government is committed to ensuring that all older Canberrans have the opportunity to participate fully in the social and economic life of this city. This includes achieving employment aspirations regardless of age. Importantly, and in the context of discussions, the ACT government business and community sectors must prepare now and into the immediate future for a significant increase in the number of older Canberrans who strive to remain in the workforce after they attain the current traditional retirement age.
The first segment of the roundtable provided an opportunity to listen to the wisdom of two well-qualified people. Ms Chris Faulks, chief executive officer of the Canberra Business Chamber, provided an overview of the current workforce climate in the ACT, along with details of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Employ Outside the Box mature age workers guide. Mr Ewan Brown, acting executive officer of the Council on the Ageing ACT, provided roundtable participants with a broad spectrum of information in relation to current programs and services available for mature age workers.
In the second segment the facilitators explored three selected topics which included: what are the barriers for mature age workers with minimal or specialised skills participating in the workforce and other productive work such as volunteering in Canberra? What are the barriers for mature age workers across the equity areas, including but not limited to those with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, refugee and migrant workers? And what are the essential skills to ensure the continued supply of skilled employees in the ACT?
The key themes across discussions included the need for support for more mature age workers transitioning from full to part-time work or retirement, the importance of dispelling stereotypes about mature age workers held by employers, the necessity for mature age workers to embrace training and re-skilling and, of course, the importance of adapting to a changing workforce with a positive attitude.
While Canberra is a welcoming and diverse city— (Time expired.)
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.