Interest in VERTO’s Skills Checkpoint program has tripled since the start of 2021, with mature-aged workers across the country looking for support to upskill or reskill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Skills Checkpoint is a government initiative for people aged 45-70 who have been made redundant or may be at risk of redundancy. The program provides participants with advice and guidance on transitioning into new roles within their current industry, or pathways to a new career, including referrals to relevant education and training options.
VERTO also helps eligible participants source up to $2,200 (inc. GST) in government funding to put towards their study.
“In the past two months , the Federal Government announced an additional $11.6 million funding to extend the Skills Checkpoint training incentive until June 2022. This was a very welcome investment in Australia’s mature-aged workers, who have sadly felt the biggest impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” VERTO Chief Executive Officer, Ron Maxwell, said.
“According to Australian National University statistics, nearly a third of people who have lost work or had hours cut as a result of the pandemic are aged 51 to 65, while The Brotherhood of St Laurence paper estimates nearly 400,000 Australians aged 51 to 65 have either lost work or had their hours cut as a result of the downturn.
“These statistics emphasise how much mature-aged workers have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic and how important a program like Skills Checkpoint really is.”
Mr Maxwell encouraged anyone aged 45-70 who is unemployed or faces the prospect of redundancy and is looking to reskill, to contact VERTO for assistance.
“One of the great things about the Skills Checkpoint program is that there are no one-size-fits-all approaches at VERTO. Our consultants really listen to each individual’s circumstances and what they want to achieve, and then we build a tailored approach that works for them,” he said.
“There is such a wide variety of careers available today that may not have been an option when a person entered the workforce, and we can help them explore those options. In most cases, participants work with a local consultant too, so they have someone who really understands the local employment market.”
Skills Checkpoint is suited to organisations as well as individuals.
“As a result of COVID-19, we’ve seen an increase in the number of employers looking to roll-out the program to at-risk employees. In the last year, we’ve helped national travel agencies, airlines and transport companies to support their employees to find new roles in a changing marketplace; pilots reskilling as bus drivers, for example,” Mr Maxwell added.
“Employment really is life-changing, and VERTO has a long history of helping people find the right opportunities – something we will continue to do for everyone who needs us.”
Image – After 50 years in the construction industry, Gregory Bickerstaff utilised the Skills Checkpoint program to reskill and is now happily working on a dairy farm.