VERTO offers the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program (Skills Checkpoint) on behalf of the Australian Government in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, and Victoria. Skills Checkpoint is funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and helps those aged 45 to 70 who are recently unemployed, or employed and at risk of entering the income support system.

Greg has spent his entire 50 year career in the construction industry. The role Greg worked in has put immense pressure on his body and led to long- term injuries, leaving him facing the prospect of an early retirement.

A career opportunity arose with his son’s dairy farm in Nowra which was is need of an extra hand. This meant that Greg needed to access the right training to obtain his Heavy Rigid (HR) vehicle licence. Hearing about VERTO’s Skills Checkpoint funding from a family member, he saw an opportunity to receive support via the program.

Greg said that changing professions seemed daunting, but with the help of the Skills Checkpoint program in obtaining his HR licence, he sees a brighter future.

“It is hard leaving behind something that you have done for over 50 years, but the licence now gives me freedom to do what I want,” said Greg.

“I have so many different opportunities; if I want to drive a bus or a community transport vehicle, I can do that now.”

VERTO’s Skills Checkpoint consultant, Jess Horne, has seen how training can create new opportunities for many of her clients, and recommends the program as a great option for older Australians facing injury or job loss.

“I would say to older workers who are in situations like Greg, look to these new career options,” said Jess.

“With only a small amount of training, you could be opening the door to a different occupation that could extend your career by many years.”