Unemployed Rockhampton man says age factors in job hunt

UNEMPLOYED: Tertiary-qualified project manager and boilermaker Geoff Clarke works at one of his previous work sites. He’s finding it hard to get a job.
UNEMPLOYED: Tertiary-qualified project manager and boilermaker Geoff Clarke works at one of his previous work sites. He’s finding it hard to get a job. Chris Ison

UNEMPLOYED cross-career man Geoff Clarke, 64, is wondering how high school leavers are going to find a job if he can't.

The unemployed boilermaker, tertiary-qualified project manager and former company director has oodles of experience across several trades including sub-mining work and construction.

But he's left to live off his working wife's income.

Geoff, who also has a Bachelor of Education degree under his belt, said yesterday he came from an era when leaving school, going to work and staying in that position forever was how it was done.

He said even the slightest interest in wanting to change careers in his day was a no-no.

Geoff headed back to university in his 40s to take up his tertiary qualification. He even based himself in Papua New Guinea and worked in a community-based position for some time.

Since returning from Papua New Guinea, after his contract expired a month ago, he has searched for 28 jobs across several disciplines at various Queensland locations.

"I have achieved qualifications above and beyond my original training, as the various governments keep encouraging us to do ... but this seems to achieve naught," he said.

"It puts a lie to the theory, loved by our politicians and bureaucrats, that further education and training is the key to gaining employment ... it appears the more experience/knowledge you gain the more unemployable you become.

"The fact that I am over 60 is no doubt a major factor but this brings into serious question the absolutely crazy idea of increasing the retirement age to 70."

Geoff says because his wife works, he's unable to register for the unemployment benefit, "which is fine".

"But, then I don't count in the national unemployed statistics."

Topics:  education skills unemployed unemployment

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