24 December 2021

Mature age workers may help ease staff shortages this festive season

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson is encouraging small and family businesses to welcome applications from all-ages when hiring staff this busy festive season.

With many small and family businesses struggling amid nation-wide staff shortages, Mr Billson says mature age employees could help ease the workload.

“Small and family businesses are eager to make the most of the festive season and Summer months of trade, but finding staff is now their biggest issue,” Mr Billson says.

“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.

“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.

“I am delighted to see this happening already in places like 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.

“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.”