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 Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. The service helps those aged 45 to 70 who are employed and at risk of entering the income support system (e.g. those in industries undergoing structural adjustment); or unemployed for no more than three consecutive months and not registered for assistance through an employment services program, such as jobactive.

The program is a no cost service, offering career guidance and assessment to help participants to continue in the workforce. The program also offers eligible participants access to a co-contribution of up to $2,200 to partake in accredited training course(s).

Karl, Keith, Marty and Terry all work for South West Community Transport (SWCT) in the Macarthur region, a business focused on helping elderly community members to keep their independence by providing transport services. The four men, along with 24 other SWCT drivers, were required to update their training before January 2020 or risk being made redundant.

VERTO’s Skills Checkpoint Consultant for the Sydney region, Jess Horne, recognised their essential service to the community and teamed up with training provider Into Training Australia to update their Driver’s Authority Training Course.

“I initially approached their employer and explained to them how the SWCT drivers would be eligible for our Skills Checkpoint service,” said Jess.

“Skills Checkpoint allowed the SWCT drivers to access funding for half of their required course fees which significantly decreased the cost for each driver to reskill.”

Ross at Into Training Australia delivered the Driver Authority Training Course for the SWCT team. Seeing the benefit of VERTO’s Skills Checkpoint service, he now highlights the availability of the program to other potential participants.

“In the end I trained 28 drivers at SWCT who, under previous circumstances, would have needed to pay for this service out of their own pockets,” Ross said.

“The Skills Checkpoint service is opening up a whole new world of opportunities for older workers who think that their current position is at risk of disappearing; it’s truly giving them new hope.”

Keith, Marty, Terry and Karl have completed the Drivers Authority course and are now able to remain in their current positions, continuing to provide this vital service to their community.