Missing the mark: employer perspectives on employment services and mature age jobseekers in Australia

Dina Bowman and Agathe Randrianarisoa

The last of three reports studying Australia’s jobactive employment program found the service is not working well for mature age jobseekers.

At a glance

The authors found that some employers are cautious about employing mature age workers, while others had a limited awareness of the jobactive service. Employers were found to be wary of candidates referred by public employment services—especially mature age jobseekers, worrying they would be poorly matched. Industry informants said there is a risk that jobactive overpromises and underdelivers to both employers and jobseekers.

Dive deeper

Analysis of 22 interviews with employers, employer groups, policy makers and peak bodies shows the reluctance of employers to use public employment services. They are hesitant to take on applicants who have been unemployed or do not fit their idea of the best fit for their needs. Such concerns need to be addressed, and local economic development fostered, if mature age unemployment is to be tackled effectively.

This study was funded by the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation—Eldon & Anne Foote Trust (Innovation Grant 2015).

Last updated on 16 June 2020



In this series

By Seuwandi Wickramasinghe and Dina Bowman 2018

The first of three reports from a study exploring how jobactive employment services can better help mature age jobseekers find work, this report focuses on the jobseekers.

Read report
By Dina Bowman and Agathe Randrianarisoa 2018

The second of three reports from a study exploring how Australia’s jobactive employment services might better assist mature age jobseekers

Read report
By Dina Bowman, Agathe Randrianarisoa and Seuwandi Wickramasinghe 2018

What is needed to help mature jobseekers find work?

Read report

Related projects

Research and Policy project

Existing policy responses to workforce age discrimination tend to focus on the role of employers in providing opportunities for jobseekers aged over 45. By contrast this research project focuses on employment services and how their staff might work more effectively with mature-age jobseekers.

Learn more