As you know, COTA SA has urged the SA Government to focus on older workers.
We were alarmed that, instead of this, the 2021-22 State Budget contained a measure “allowing workforce rejuvenation” on a voluntary basis to create an incentive for employees to separate from the SA Public Service. Many people have interpreted this measure to us as targeting older workers and luring them out of the public service.
In our COTA SA 2021-22 State Budget Submission, and in a letter to you dated 26 November 2020, we have urged a focus on measures that will assist older South Australian workers, and especially older women, to get and keep work.
The public service workforce rejuvenation appears to be doing the very opposite.
Our changing demography tells us that one of the very important sources of a future workforce in both metropolitan Adelaide and in rural SA will be older people.
In spite of this, consistent surveys indicate that about a third of older workers experience age discrimination which results in unemployment, underemployment and an under investment in the training and development that maintains contemporary skills for employment.