New grants to boost skills opportunities for productive Seniors

1 February 2013

Grants of up to $20,000 are now available to deliver informal and accredited courses for Seniors, thanks to the Gillard Government’s $4.2 million Productive Ageing through Community Education program.

Parliamentary Secretary for Skills, Sharon Bird, announced the opening of the first round of funding under the program, which is available to community groups and not-for-profit training providers.

“Lifelong learning is vital to remaining active, healthy and engaged in the community,” Ms Bird said.

“This program is about providing Seniors with more opportunities to take part in local courses tailored to their needs and interests.”

The Government made grants available in response to the 2012 final report of the Economic Potential of Senior Australians Advisory Panel.

The Panel reported that lifelong learning is critical to enable senior Australians to be adaptive and resilient, and to remain active participants in a changing society and economy.

“We all benefit from the immense value that older Australians add to our community and our workplaces,” Ms Bird said.

“Australians are living longer and healthier lives, but many of us are still retiring in our late 50s.

“Maintaining a healthy economy means further harnessing the knowledge and life-experience of older Australians.

“It’s vital that the community provides Seniors with more opportunities to learn the new skills needed to continue making a valuable contribution, whether it’s getting back into paid work or volunteering.

“I encourage adult education providers and community organisations across the country to take advantage of this opportunity and apply for a grant to expand their course offerings.”

The program will provide up to 200 grants in 2013.

Suitable courses can cover any of a broad range of topics and areas of interest - from fitness and healthy living to foreign languages, computer skills and volunteering, and can be delivered face-to-face or online.

Grant applications are open now and information on how to apply available at www.innovation.gov.au/patce.