(QldGovSpin) Retail Jobs Open for Mature-Aged People

Submitted by Editor on Thu, 26/08/2004 - 00:43

The Queensland Government and the National Retail Association will team up on a $200,000-plus project to help mature-aged job seekers into work.

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Employment, Training & Industrial Relations, Tom Barton
employment@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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25/08/04

Employment, Training and Industrial Relations Minister Tom Barton today announced the new agreement which will help at least 133 people over the coming year.

"This project specifically targets people over 40 who have been out of work for at least six months," Mr Barton said.

"Their life experience makes them particularly valuable to the retail industry, and this project will give them the training they need to break into the industry.

"Instead of being a handicap, age will work to their advantage."

The program will primarily be delivered from the NRA office in Fortitude Valley or at convenient locations in surrounding areas. The program will focus on industry specific courses and will aim to increase male participation to 30 per cent using the industry specific model to attract attendance.

The State Government will contribute $200,000 from its Breaking the Unemployment Cycle initiative.

The National Retail Association will use the money to run four-week courses - three weeks of training covering literacy and numeracy assessments, life skills and accredited retail training, plus one week's work experience. There will also be job search training and on-going coaching.

Participants will be able to focus on specific industry sectors, like small electrical, hardware, bakery, fashion and books.

Association executive director Patrick McKendry said the agreement would continue a valuable partnership.

"It is essential that the retail industry comes to terms with the changing demographic of the Australian workforce - and ensures that we don't miss out on the experience, knowledge and life skills offered by mature-aged jobseekers," Mr McKendry said.

"Today's agreement continues a relationship that has been running since the start of last year, and during that time we have delivered our course to more than 450 people.

"Many have gone on to find careers in the retail industry, and a few have even started their own business.

"The National Retail Association has found it very rewarding to be able to deliver real-world training experience to these jobseekers, some of whom have been looking for work for more than two years."

Fifteen people will graduate from the first of five programs to be held this year on August 31.

Breaking the Unemployment Cycle has helped create more than 75 000 jobs across Queensland since October 1998.

Media contact:
David Brewtnall or
Michael O'Meara on (07) 3225 2210

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