Training to boost your career

Training for an unemployed older jobseeker can be tricky. Judy Higgins of provides her top tips on how the right training can help you find employment or start a whole new career.

Often if unemployed older jobseekers are lucky enough to get an interview, they are told ‘you are overqualified’, and on that basis why would you waste the time, effort and money to train. Right? Not necessarily. There are instances where training can assist you into employment.

Train into a job

Some organisations in specific skill shortage industries – aged care for instance – develop and set up their own training organisations, recruit participants from the local area, train them and place them into jobs within their organisation. This system works well for everyone. The organisation has local, trained staff and the training often leads to a job for participants. Check out your local papers or local employer websites – they often advertise for participants.

Refresh and update your skills

If you have been out of work for any length of time, it’s useful to train and update your skills. Keeping your skills relevant also addresses the myth that older workers don’t want to undertake training, and shows any prospective employer that you are keen to learn, and have made an effort to do so. This is particularly appropriate if you have been with your last employer for quite a long time; chances are you are trained to suit their way of doing things, so a generic skills update could prove very useful.

Train for a change of career

Some industries are contracting in terms of numbers of workers required – for instance the car industry, print journalism, public service (administration, policy and program/project staff). If you are coming out of such an industry then it is wise to look at training for a change of career. Take the time to do some research and find out what the growth industries are in your area. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce site and the Local Government or Council site – they often provide information on developing local industries.

Train to be self-employed

If you have received a redundancy, you may consider training in a specific area that enables you to become self-employed. You can purchase a franchise, set up a business or simply contract out your new-found skills. The word ‘seniorpreneur’ has been created due to the number of older people turning into entrepreneurs. Self-employment is a good option for some.

The old adage ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ has never been further from the truth. More and more training organisations are seeing older people in their classes. Is it something you should consider?


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