Open Forum: Young and old-age discrimination and the economy

Economists around the world might regard Australia’s low unemployment rate with envy, but the headline figure masks the difficulties that face teenagers and senior citizens looking for secure work.

The first University of Western Sydney Open Forum of 2012, The Price We Pay, Young and Old- Age Discrimination and the Economy, will examine how Australian businesses and governments can make better use of our youth and senior citizens.

A recent Australian Government report, Realising the Economic Potential of Senior Australians, showed there are two million older Australians interested in working.

Added to this, Treasury estimates that the failure to engage older people who want to keep working is costing the economy $10.8 billion a year.

Discussing these issues will be the Age Discrimination Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Hon. Susan Ryan AO, and the Director of the Centre for Full Employment and Equity at the University of Newcastle, Professor William Mitchell.

Former Australian Human Rights Commissioner and Director of Equity and Diversity at UWS, Dr Sev Ozdowski, will act as MC for the evening.

Dr Ozdowski says every Australian, from teenagers to seniors to those in between, should be given a chance to contribute.

“At the moment Australia is in an extraordinary situation where many businesses need more workers, but our youth and older citizens continue to miss out on opportunities,” says Dr Ozdowski.

“For example, some large companies hire guest workers from other countries to meet their demand, an incredible situation considering we have people right here in Australia looking for more work.”

“What we need is a new approach to help reduce the ranks of youth unemployment, and help our above 50 years old citizens who want to participate in the labour market.”

To arrange media interviews or register your interest in attending, please contact the UWS Media Unit.

WHAT: 2012 Open Forum Seminars: The Price We Pay, Young and Old- Age Discrimination and the Economy
WHEN: Tuesday 28 February 2012
TIME: 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start
WHERE: Building EB Room G.33, UWS Parramatta Campus, Corner Victoria Road and James Ruse Drive, Rydalmere



13 February 2012

Contact: Mark Smith, Media Officer