As a community, we’ve been through a lot of late, including the pandemic, natural disasters, world instability and the impacts of the rising cost of living. Among all these challenges, the biggest nightmare would be losing your income, particularly as an older worker.
It may be frustrating thinking of how to get back into the same old work role or industry that you’re not that keen on anymore, just to pay bills or keep supporting your family. Fortunately, with supporting government-funded programs, there are options to get you out of the same old working rut!
Thanks to the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers (SCOW) program, a national program that supports older workers over 40 to remain in the workforce, you can reskill or upskill into a new career path – no matter what your age or life stage.
SCOW career advisor Richard, from BUSY At Work (who deliver the SCOW program), mentioned that “mature age workers are an essential part of our workforce. Apart from their valued skills and experience, they are more committed, patient and passionate. They are also great learners and get back into their career much faster once they reskill.”
The SCOW program can help people over 40 who are:
- currently employed, or
- unemployed for less than 12 months and not receiving Australian government assistance, or
- underemployed, and
- Australian citizens or those who have the right to work in Australia.
(Read more about eligibility criteria)
If you’re an older worker wanting to re-enter or remain in the workplace, according to Richard, “It’s never too late.”
“Since 2019, the SCOW program has helped over 10,000 mature age workers to reskill, upskill and gain new career paths. As a result we were able to transform the lives of people who may have been aimless in their career or made redundant, to then move on and become business owners, career professionals or find work suitable for them as they approach retirement.”
Nicole was one of the many who changed their career through the SCOW program. When her job role was made redundant in the airline industry due to COVID-19, she came to the SCOW program for support. Working with her Career Advisor at BUSY At Work, Nicole went through a career assessment and they looked at her current skills, strengths and preferences to explore her options. Nicole wanted to work in administration and health care so then enrolled in a medical administration course which the SCOW program contributed 50% of her course fees (the SCOW program can co-contribute 50% towards vocational training up to a maximum of $2,200). She was then able to secure employment at her local hospital – and she hasn’t looked back!
In work and in life there will always be challenges thrown at you, just like the old adage “what doesn’t break you makes you stronger”. With a little help though, through available funded programs like SCOW, you will be able to overcome your barriers and set your next career goal.
Richard further stated, “Through the SCOW program, we have seen pilots who flew for their entire career, now learning to drive trucks and forklifts, and flight attendants transformed to driving instructors. Some of our participants complete their Trainer and Assessor certificate to now train the next employees in their field.
“It’s time to look beyond the myth of being ‘too old for a new job’. You can still learn, work part-time, full-time, or use your experience and skills to support our workforce for the future.”
If you’re aged over 40 and ready for your next career step why not look into the Skills Checkpoint program?
Find out more about Adult Learners Week 2022