A PUSH to employ mature workers could come at the expense of younger candidates, according to Orange Business Chamber president Tony Healey.
Announced as part of the federal budget on Tuesday, businesses that employ a person older than 50 and out of work for at least six months will be eligible for $10,000 if the staff member remains employed for two years.
Mr Healey said the incentive would improve the employment rate for the older age bracket.
“People over the age of 50 have a lot of prior knowledge behind them, and experience,” he said.
“But if there’s incentive to employ older people, it could be to the detriment of a younger person.”
With those younger than 30 having to wait six months to apply for Youth Allowance and Newstart under the new “earn or learn” measures, Mr Healey said the responsibility could fall on parents to provide for their children if new graduates were unsuccessful in job interviews.
GWS Personnel executive recruiter Tim Berryman disagreed, saying there was enough employment available in Orange for all ages to find a job.
“As long as you are a qualified and reliable employee, there is no reason why you should be out of work,” he said.
Mr Berryman said there was no doubt ageism still existed, with some employers mistakenly believing younger candidates could be more easily trained.
“We are seeing more and more demand for more mature workers because they are very stable, they are reliable and they have seen a lot of work environments,” he said.
“It’s great to have an incentive in place, particularly given Electrolux is closing and there will probably be more mature workers coming into the market.”
Mr Berryman said 20-30 per cent of the hopefuls his organisation dealt with were in the over-50s category and believed employers would start taking advantage of the scheme once they had all the information.