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Older People in Yorke Peninsula: Hidden Potential for the Workforce

14 April 22

Older people bring a wealth of lived experience, knowledge and skills that would be highly valuable to local businesses

Lisa Brock, Mid North Employment Facilitator

Untapping the unique, hidden potential in the Yorke Peninsula to contribute to local workforce solutions.

As job vacancies in Yorke Peninsula reach record numbers and the demand for workers continues to be a challenge for local business, the Local Jobs Program, an Australian Government initiative to support local people into work and the Yorke Peninsula Advisory Group (YPAG) of COTA SA came together last week to explore opportunities to support and encourage older people into work.

The Yorke Peninsula has a significantly higher proportion of older people compared to the average age profile of South Australia. Approximately 47 per cent of the population is aged over 55 compared to 28 per cent in South Australia and mature aged job seekers make up over 35 per cent of the registered job seekers in the employment region. There is a diverse range of older people within the region including job seekers, people who have moved to the region for lifestyle reasons, pensioners and people who are early retirees, semi-retired or retired.

“Older people bring a wealth of lived experience, knowledge and skills that would be highly valuable to local businesses”, said the region’s Employment Facilitator, Lisa Brock. “We’ve seen employers adapt and be more flexible to ensure they can attract workers and believe there is an opportunity to explore this further and see how we can harness the skills and experience of older people, while maintaining flexibility and life balance.”

COTA SA is an older people’s movement and the peak body that represents the rights, interests and futures of South Australians aged 50+. The Yorke Peninsula Advisory Group (YPAG) of COTA SA was established in 2021 to create an avenue for the voices of South Australians aged over 50 living on the Yorke Peninsula to be heard and to be influential in issues and directions that matter to older people.

Vivienne Lambert, Chair of the YPAG of COTA SA says, “Older people on the Peninsula may not think they want to work because they don’t know the opportunities that exist for a few hours or one day a week, yet they have the skills and experience which employers value.

“Our collaboration with the Local Jobs Program will provide information on what may be available and how to get back into paid work as well as link with employers looking for older workers for the skills and flexibility they bring.”

“Lots of people happily do volunteer work and this isn’t intended to take people away from that. But employers are looking for and valuing the skills that older people bring from their former working life, so this will open up the opportunities to bring them together.”

Engaging with local residents and community groups across the region and providing access to information and support will be the initial focus of the campaign lead by the Local Jobs Program, with ideas and input by older people in the Yorke Peninsula encouraged.

Watch Jane Mussared, COTA SA, and Lisa Brock, Mid North Employment Facilitator talk about the hidden potential for the workforce on Spencer Gulf News on April 13

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