For an increasing number of Australians, job security is the number one concern in mid-life.
Redundancies are an ever-present threat, and if you work in a tech-related field, it’s easy to feel out of step with your millennial colleagues who were born with an iPad and smartphone in their cribs.
What’s more, it can also be difficult to know where to turn if you are looking to up-skill, or change direction after being in the same role or industry for most of your working life.
Luckily, there is help now at hand, thanks to the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program (the Skills Checkpoint Program), an Australian Government-funded initiative which aims to fill a gap in the services currently available to older Australians.
In a nutshell, if accepted into the program the government will pay half the cost to help you retrain, or upskill, up to the value of $2,200, with you or your employer paying the rest.
The program provides advice and guidance on transitioning into new roles within your current industry, or pathways to a new career, including referral to relevant education and training options.
Eligible individuals are those aged 45 to 70 who are employed and at risk of entering the income support system due to organisational or industry changes, or recently unemployed and not registered for assistance through an Australian Government employment services program.
VERTO, an award winning, NSW-based not-for-profit organisation assisting businesses and individuals with all their apprenticeship, employment and training needs is one of two agents charged with rolling out the national scheme.
Its patch is NSW, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, while The BUSY Group handles Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
The Australian Government estimates the $17.4 million Skills Checkpoint Program will support up to 20,000 Australians over four years nationally.
VERTO chief executive, Ron Maxwell, said the first step for anyone from NSW, Victoria or the ACT who might be interested in taking part is to contact the VERTO team.
“Once we’ve established a participant’s eligibility, we conduct a free career planning session which determines suitable education and training options as outlined in an individual career plan. This help participants to reach their employment goals,” says Ron.
“This includes retraining in order to pursue career opportunities in new professions.”
Ron says VERTO’s direct engagement program with employers offering large redundancy programs is also working well.
“We are, however, committed to the continual promotion of the Skills Checkpoint Program and are therefore very grateful for the interest taken by sites such as 50 So What, as it’s important we get the word out to the 45-70 market about the opportunities provided through this program.”
As published by 50 So What at 50sowhat.com.au