Federal Coalition MP Nickolas Varvaris took the podium with Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week in an effort to spruik the government’s job creation credentials.

The former Kogarah mayor, who won the seat of Barton in last year’s election, appeared with the PM and Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker to officially launch the Restart program in the Barton electorate.

Restart provides a $10,000 incentive to employers to hire and retain mature age job-seekers – aged 50 and over – who have been in receipt of income support for six months or more.

The Restart program is part of the Abbott government’s Economic Action Strategy, which the Coalition believes will create new jobs, and encourage
Australians to improve their skills to get into, or re-enter, the workforce.

Speaking after the launch, Mr Varvaris said that because of the ageing nature of the Australian population, “increasing workforce participation is critical to the future prosperity of our nation and my electorate. The government recognises that mature-aged workers have a valuable contribution to make to the workplace.”

Mr Varvaris said he was delighted that the program’s launch had taken place in the community he represents.

“It was fantastic to launch an initiative from which my electorate of Barton, and the Australian economy as a whole, stands to benefit greatly,” he said.

With 45 per cent of Barton’s residents having been born overseas, the largest single ethnic group in the electorate is Greek, with around 20,000 residents.

The Restart program – worth $524.8 million over four years – is one measure, says the government, for getting more Australians into employment.

The Coalition’s pre-election pledges on employment committed them to create one million new jobs within five years. Other programs to be introduced include a revamped Work for the Dole program, Relocation Assistance – to support job seekers in moving to areas where work is available; and the Job Commitment Bonus, which provides $6,500 to young, long-term unemployed people if they get a job, and stay off welfare for two years.

A report from the Deloitte consultancy released this month singled out six industries – representing one third of Australia’s $1.4 trillion economy – which are most vulnerable to changes in job security due to the growth of new digitally-driven work practices. The sectors identified are retail, finance, media, arts and recreation, real estate, and information technology.

A recent study by US employment analysts CareerCast says that worldwide, the most endangered jobs in 2014 are those of a postman, farmer, forestry worker, travel agent, flight attendant, print worker, tax examiner and newspaper reporter.