Page 4815 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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For the past three years the framework has provided direction to the work of government to take us forward as we seek to create an age-friendly city—a city in which older people are valued, respected and actively engaged in their community. This 2018 update is the third such update provided to the Assembly and the final one for our active ageing framework. The framework identified six areas of priority. These six areas were: civic participation and employment; communication, information and social participation; community and health services; housing, outdoor spaces and buildings; transportation; and respect and social inclusion.

To address these priorities, a set of actions has been identified each year in order to practically implement the framework. In 2017-18 we identified 10 actions for completion during the year. I am pleased to report that all 10 actions are either complete or equivalent work has been undertaken to meet the intent of these actions. A detailed report outlining progress against each of the 10 actions is available on the Community Services Directorate website.

Today I provide members with the highlights of that report. We committed to providing access to ongoing education and training opportunities for sustainable, alternative employment options for seniors. In April 2017 the government removed the limit on the number of subsidised Australian apprenticeships that a Canberran can access over their lifetime, improving access to traineeships and apprenticeships for older Canberrans. We also paid approximately $600,000 in extra training subsidy payments for Canberrans aged 45 years and older to upskill or reskill through an apprenticeship or traineeship. As a result of these initiatives Australian apprenticeship commencements for Canberrans who are 45 years or older have increased by more than 200 per cent, compared with 2014-15 commencement numbers.

The 2017-18 ACT budget included $1 million over four years to assist mature age workers to upskill and reskill. It also provided for the development of initiatives to boost the number of women working in trades. Drawing on this funding, Skills Canberra launched its mature workers grants program. Through this program Skills Canberra will fund activities that reduce barriers to participation in work-related training and associated support services that aim to improve the employment outcomes of mature workers. Under the mature workers grants program, businesses will also be provided with information about supports that are available to them to recruit and retain skilled, experienced workers to deliver the services, infrastructure and other major projects our city needs, now and in the years ahead.

In the second priority area, “communication, information and social participation”, the government funded the Council on the Ageing ACT to deliver Seniors Week celebrations. Over 4,000 people attended the Seniors Week expo, where they were able to find out about a range of services, programs and recreational activities on offer for older Canberrans.

The veterans and seniors grants provided $80,000 for projects in the ACT, while other grants rounds, such as the multicultural grant program, the digital communities grant program and the community support and infrastructure grant program, included older Canberrans as beneficiaries. These grants often deliver small but life-improving

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