Both tribes of politicians have proclaimed that they want older workers to return to the workforce, they have schemes, people should retire at 67 not 65 and so on.
It's all hogwash.
I trained as an electronics technician in the 1970's, soon took an interest in computers and now hold a Computer Science degree. I have 40 years experience in electronics and computing - but I've been unemployed (and unemployable) for the last 10 years.
Most computer jobs have historically been arranged through agents - a disease that's now affecting many other occupations. When I terminated the contract that I had been working on ten years ago, I was called within 24 hours by an agent - who offered me the position I'd just vacated at $10 less per hour. Hadn't even read the resume - just after the commission.
After about three years, I was made aware that a skill I had had been put onto the MODL (Migration Occupations Demand List) so I wrote to the Labour minister pointing out that these positions hadn't been advertised in Australia and asking for a list of employers who wanted these services. All I got in return was a wad of paper saying how "these people fit in well with our society." No leads on the employers who allegedly wanted to use the skills described, of course.
Then there was the scheme to get people over 45 to return to the workforce. Naturally, having an electronics certificate and a Computer Science degree, all I had to do was take a 2-year course to become a security guard. That was the only suggestion the public servant could make.
The State government offered a course subsidy. The course would explain to me WHY I was unemployed and hence how I could fix the problem. BUT first, I had to take a half-day resume-writing course.
The resume-writing course really revealed two things - that if you leave dates off of the resume, then employers don't know how old you are. Apparently they're not capable of figuring out that a resume with dates omitted comes from an older person who has been on a resume-writing course. Also, try volunteering.
Since there was a volunteering office in the building, I went there directly the course had finished and volunteered for a few months. I was getting a whole $8 per day petrol money to defray my costs, which amounted to $25 in petrol and two hours' travel per day.
After nine months or so, it was obvious that the boss of the workplace where I was volunteering was a user. He'd waste the volunteers' time and was simply on one big ego-trip. Do as the boss said, and "Your efforts are appreciated." Dispute anything he said and "You can always leave - there's a queue of people waiting to take your place."
Despite being registered with more than 20 recruitment agents,The only other contact I have had was an hour's interview for a company that didn't have the courtesy to say "thanks, but no thanks." I even got a follow-up call from the recruiter chasing commission - because THEY hadn't received a reply either.
I did land a short-term job, but the boss there was convinced his wife could do a better job. She told him so. Constantly. She had an IT degree. Heaven knows how she got that.
Since then - well, a 4-hour interview for a job selling electronic components, but not the courtesy of a rejection. The teenager who was appointed has since been replaced - twice....
To keep liquid, I had to sell a property - and the CGT liability meant that the $3/hr I was getting delivering papers would be taxed at 30+% - and I'm not delivering papers for $2/hr whilst paying tax so the government can subsidise a florist to take an IT course.
Jobsearch? What a joke. There's so much confusion between Centrelink and DEEWR that neither knows what's happening. They're keen to get you off of their list - and they remove you without notification.
About a year ago, I went to Centrelink three times to get my Jobsearch number re-activated. The first two times, they couldn't do it - because their computers were down. Now - what's my skill-set again?? Oh - then I had to go for an interview, or they wouldn't reactivate me.
The "Job Network Provider" at first reckoned I didn't have an appointment, then when shown the piece of paper remarked that I was the third person that week who had the same sort of background, and they don't understand why we can't get jobs. They can't help, of course as I'm not getting any dole so their support is limited to making the newspapers available and using their computers. Well, my computers are better and it would cost me more than the price of a paper to get to their office - as if IT jobs are advertised in the paper anyway.
After a few months, I was taken off of Jobsearch again, and again went through the series of ineffective reactivations. Finally, I was assigned to the "real good" Job Network Provider.
This "Job Network Provider" reckoned they can't help, as I'm not getting any dole so their support is limited to making the newspapers available and using their computers. Well, my computers are better and it would cost me more than the price of a paper to get to their office - as if IT jobs are advertised in the paper anyway.
A further interview was arranged for a magic "13-week" period later - June 2nd, as it happens. Of course, by the time this came around, Centrelink/DEEWR had managed to disable my jobsearch access again. When I arrived for the interview, I was told that it had been cancelled, but I wasn't allowed to know by whom or when, or have notification.
The standard three Centrelink interviews later, and talking to the DEEWR managers in Canberra and I finally got to talk to the local office manager, who transferred me to yet another Provider.
This "Job Network Provider" reckoned they can't help, as I'm not getting any dole so their support is limited to making the newspapers available and using their computers. Well, my computers are better and it would cost me more than the price of a paper to get to their office - as if IT jobs are advertised in the paper anyway. (you may have read this before)
They also wanted to put me through the "13-week" rigmarole, but arranged the follow-up for a week later when I protested I'd just gone through this mandatory delay.
I'll not bother repeating what they had to say at that interview. I've already posted it three times in this essay. Oh - and two days later, I got a call from them because they wanted to "exit me from the system."
So - government wanting to help mature-age workers back into the system? Rubbish.
And IT jobs - hundreds of them! Also rubbish - the agencies make such a huge margin and have such low costs that they only need to place one in 500 and keep a 'stable' of five or six contractors - or permanents that they churn - to cover their salary. They advertise bogus jobs - I've caught them at it - to collect resumes to peddle. All it costs them is to fax off the resumes to their top ten clients - or it's even cheaper to email them. That's all they do.
This generates the illusion that there are hundreds of jobs available. And agents prefer to make a larger margin on a "new grad" so someone with experience doesn't even get a look-in. The employer is presented with greenhorns but doesn't appear to have the wit to bypass the agencies.
I can only say what's happening in IT. I'm sure it's happening in other areas, too.
So what am I supposed to do? Become a check-out er, chap or a nightfill operator or a trolley-jockey? Aren't those kids' jobs - but the kids are all out learning how to be CEOs in a week.
And government makes no move - just noise. Look no further than KRudd's wife for the reason why - she made her millions being a recruitment agent - a do-nothing job at astronomical salary. And the government collect revenue by licensing the agents....
And there's something else that I've noticed about all of the people I've encountered in this farcical merry-go-round - all the recruiters, centrelink personnel, DEEWR managers, "Job Network Provider" personnel, course-conductors - the whole lot - but I dare not say what that is... Reply