'Nobody wants to employ an over-50'
HIGHFIELDS resident Greg Thomsen is just one of many older workers in Toowoomba struggling to find a job.
The 57-year-old has been unable to find employment in the Garden City despite applying for more than 200 jobs since January.
Mr Thomsen's plight is not uncommon as the Federal Government pushes Australian workers to work for longer.
Since moving to Toowoomba late last year from Mackay, Mr Thomsen's efforts to find a job have so far fallen on deaf ears.
"It is very disheartening," he said.
"From all my applications I have only had three interviews.
"Nobody wants to know you once you turn 50.
"If I have to work until I am 67, what am I going to do for the next 10 years if I can't find a job?"
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Determined to get back into the work force, Mr Thomsen spends his days applying for a wide variety of work and has registered with various employment agencies.
"While I admit I do not have a university degree, I have been a hard worker all my life and have done a wide variety of roles throughout my career," he said.
"I have applied for all sorts of different jobs without much response.
"Even the job agencies fail to communicate with me.
"My wife Linda and I chose to move to Toowoomba. However, we never expected it would take this long to get a job."
Are there job opportunities for over-50s in Toowoomba?
This poll ended on 17 August 2014.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The Highfields couple have relied on life savings as they are without an income.
"Obviously being without work has had a major impact on Linda and I financially," Mr Thomsen said.
"If I am still unable to find work we may have to redraw on our home loan or even sell the car."
Abbertons Human Resources managing director Grahame Abberton believes there is no age bias among Toowoomba employers.
"Older workers are highly respected and are regularly requested by local employers," Mr Abberton said.
"People in their 50s are good to employ and the experience they can bring is priceless.
"I have hired staff as old as 60 and as young as 20. Both can be important contributors to the workforce."
Mr Abberton encouraged job seekers to stay positive in their search.
"Don't be discouraged would be my number one tip," he said.
"Older workers are an important part of the local workforce and they will always continue to be."
- Judy Radke: I know how he feels. I'm 55 and can't find a job. They want us to work until we are 70? What a joke.
- Julianne Piggot: I'm 25 and most places now only want junior staff.
- Terry West: I never had a problem finding a job but the day I turned 50 that was it. It was like a tap had been turned off. Like Mr Thomsen, I have many skills but no University degree. Government regulations make it near impossible for older Australians.
- Yvette Adshead: I'm a single mum in my 40's and have always put my birth date on my resume. The problem is many mothers are not willing to be flexible with job hours etc.
- Kym Evans: I have had the same problem but I am a young person with no qualifications. I have applied for more than 300 jobs yet only got five replies in eight months.
- Lynette Cann: Good Luck. I hope you find work but with our government it will only get worse. Just look around and see all the businesses closing down.
- Rosemary Kalipatama: It's looking dire for us oldies.
- Micheal Barnes: How many of the 200 jobs is he truly qualified for?
- Millie Carter: This dude is not the only person in this position. Think of all the others who have applied for hundreds of jobs yet are still without employment.
- Robert LaBrie: I've been looking for work in Toowoomba for the past five years. The only job I was able to get is one in Brisbane which forces me to be away from my wife and young son for most of the week. Getting a job of any description in Toowoomba is hard work. Hopefully with all this new infrastructure it will create more jobs in the region.
- Jess Barnes-Vanderlelie: Job agencies are crap. They take credit for finding you a job even when you do it all yourself.
Job hunting tips for over 50's
- Don't put your date of birth on your resume.
- Be enthusiastic and energetic
- Don't be afraid of technology
- List only the most relevant previous employment details.
- Don't assume your age is a negative.
- Never give up.