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Those facing redundancy or who need to upskill in their career could get a leg up thanks to a new Australian government program.
The Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program (Skills Checkpoint Program) provides eligible Australians with assessment, advice and guidance on transitioning into new roles within their current industry or pathways to a new career, including referral to relevant education and training options.
The program is available to those aged 45 to 70 who are employed and at risk of entering the income support system, or recently unemployed and not registered for assistance through an employment services program.
Eligible participants in the program could receive up to $2,200 of funding for accredited training to help them make a career transition.
The Skills Checkpoint Program is an initiative of the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. Not-for-profit organisation VERTO runs the Skills Checkpoint Program in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, and VERTO chief executive Ron Maxwell said he is proud to support older Australians to stay in the workforce.
"The Skills Checkpoint Program is a great opportunity to help eligible older workers to upskill in their current roles, or learn new skills so they can transition to different career pathways," he said.
Mr Maxwell said that changes in the workforce, particularly around technology, mean many people have to regularly upskill to stay relevant in their career paths, or are facing uncertain times.
"Transitioning into new roles or careers can be stressful for individuals, and the program is aimed at providing support and assistance throughout that journey," he said.
"Through the Skills Checkpoint Program, a consultant will assess participants to determine the participant's current skills and areas for improvement. They will also create a career plan outlining job opportunities, training options and incentives available to them."
The government contributions will cover 50 per cent of the approved training up to $2,200, with the participant or their employer contributing the other 50 per cent.
And if you're still trying to figure out what your next career step is, you can also attend a career planning session through VERTO completely free of charge.
"At the career planning sessions, we can go through the candidate's skills and look at where they are in life and what their goals are," said Mr Maxwell.
"Then we can also look at the eligibility criteria for the Skills Checkpoint Program to see if they qualify, and if they do, we can match them to relevant training. So whether the candidate thinks they're eligible for the program or not, the career planning sessions are a great first step, and they're completely free."
VERTO may still be able to assist individuals who are not eligible for the Skills Checkpoint Program through a variety of other services it provides such as its training and employment services.
Employers who are facing restructure or downsizing are also encouraged to enquire about the program to look at how they may be able to redirect staff into training for a new role or upgrade their existing skills.
In a move to further support older workers, VERTO and National Seniors Australia have recently entered into a strategic agreement in order to promote the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria. The move is designed to help expand the reach of the Skills Checkpoint program; opening up more opportunities for older Australians to find employment.
To find out more about the program and see if you're eligible, contact VERTO on 1300 4 VERTO (1300 4 83786) or VERTO Skills Checkpoint.
This is advertiser content for Verto.