The ACTU welcomes Labors announcement to invest $212.4 million in Australias mature age work force, which will aid in addressing the challenges of an ageing population and work force.

Sharan Burrow, ACTU President said:

Labor has it right where the government has failed.

When Treasurer Peter Costello released his Intergenerational Report he failed to do anything on the issues confronting mature age workers and future workforce needs.

Unemployment amongst mature age workers aged over 45 is too high and the Government has no plans to address this.

Recent data shows that there are currently 120 000 Australian mature age workers who are unemployed but are seeking work.

This needs immediate action and as a result mature age workers need intensive assistance now.

Currently the Governments policy has ignored the plight of mature age workers and the only solution offered is that they keep working till they drop without the support of re-training or up skilling.

This will not work.

We need to encourage more mature age workers to stay in the workforce.

However the focus must remain on choice.

We need to give workers the choice, whether to stay in employment, transition into retirement through part-time work or retire.

Labors policy announcement today is a step in the right direction.

Labor will increase opportunity for mature age workers to access education and training and intensive employment assistance.

This is good news for mature age workers, good news for employers and a great start to ending discrimination against mature age workers.

Labors investment will establish Mature Age Career Centres to assist mature age Australians back into the workforce.

It will also establish rapid assistance services to help prevent workers from falling into long-term unemployment and a Training Partnerships Fund to encourage employers to re-train and re-skill mature age employees.