HE’S 65, earned an OAM for his services to the community and stayed in two jobs his entire working life.
But Loomberah’s Peter Blom, who was retrenched from Telstra in 2008, can’t even land a job interview at Maccas.
Despite applying for more than 100 jobs in recent years – everything from administration to abattoir work – Mr Blom has not been offered a single interview.
The grandfather-of-one went public with his demoralising experiences this week after federal Treasurer Joe Hockey flagged changes to the eligibility age for the pension.
Mr Blom said it was “utter folly” to believe the majority of mature-age workers could find a job after 65.
“The government tells us that the mature-age worker is in great demand, but employers here in Tamworth do not seem to agree,” Mr Blom said.
“It’s simple: employers do not want to employ mature-age workers.”
Mr Blom said he was healthy, computer literate, reliable and well-presented, but his skill set was overshadowed by one thing – his age.
“I’ve been looking mainly for admin work, because that’s what I’ve done my whole life, but I’ve also applied for jobs at McDonald’s, KFC and the abattoirs,” he said.
“Mr Hockey is saying raise the pension age to 70, but there are a lot of people like me who have been made redundant later in life who can’t find a job.
“And what about people who have been labourers or even nurses their whole life?
“Their bodies are broken; they can’t work through to 70.
“I know the budget is in stress and no doubt the pension costs governments a lot, but these people have been paying taxes their whole working life and the government wants to take it away from them.”
Mr Blom said a number of online job application forms didn’t even provide a date earlier than 1950 when they asked for a person’s age.
He said the Tamworth job market was “cliquey”, and it was difficult to get an interview unless you knew someone in the business.
“I just want to have something to get out of bed for, to be part of the community and earn a quid,” he said.
“But there just doesn’t seem to be an opportunity.”