Small businesses urged to accept job applicants regardless of age

age, JobKeeper, hiring, skill shortages

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Bruce Billson is encouraging small and family businesses to be more open to job applications from mature-age workers. Billson made the call in the midst of increasing job shortages experienced by small and family businesses, adding that mature age employees could help ease the workload.

“Vacancies are at an all-time high in the hospitality industry with more than 100,000 positions open across the country, particularly in tourism hotspots,” Billson said. “That’s why I am encouraging small and family businesses to be age-inclusive when they advertise for people and really consider the many benefits that a mature worker can bring to the business.

“Age diversity is good for business. Older workers can elevate an entire workplace, with their knowledge, experience and transferrable skills forged over many years,” Billson added, quoting as an example places such the Cobargo Hotel on NSW’s south coast, which is hiring mature-aged workers and seeing the benefits first-hand.

“Small businesses looking for staff should ensure their advertising is welcoming of all ages and that they are looking for a positive attitude and willingness to learn the skills that can be taught on the job, Billson said. “Offer flexible working arrangements if possible to give workers at various life stages a chance to manage their work-life balance. This labour force shortage is a one-in-100-year problem for a range of industries and we know Australian small and family businesses are ready to lead the nation’s economic recovery.

“Above all we want small and family businesses to survive and thrive into the new year and that may mean casting the net a little bit wider to ensure you have a great team going forward,” Billson concluded.