Reliability, maturity and stability are assets a 60-year-old motor mechanic apprentice brings to his new workplace.
Steven McGuigan was unemployed for a year before he began working at truck repair and service company Truck-Eez nine months ago. He so impressed his boss, he was offered an apprenticeship.
Mr McGuigan, who began a four-year Certificate III in heavy commercial vehicle mechanical technology at Albury TAFE yesterday, said he brought life skills to his work.
“A lot of younger fellows race around and get on the turps and not come to work the next day,” he said. “I’m not a drunkard and I don’t take drugs.
“I’ve got the same wife I’ve had for 33 years.”
Truck-Eez owner Patrick Povolny said he had soon realised Mr McGuigan was a self-motivated, highly skilled worker.
“He’s got a can-do attitude which you want, regardless if they are young or old,” he said.
“He doesn’t have ‘the world owes me a living’ attitude.”
Mr Povolny said heavy lifting was no problem for the fit former truck driver.
He said when he offered Mr McGuigan the apprenticeship at their Christmas party, “his face lit up like you wouldn’t believe”.
State Training Services advisor Susan Bruce, who helped set up the contract, said employers needed to be open-minded about older job-seekers.
“It depends on the person, not the age,” she said.
Ms Bruce said there were financial incentives for employers to hire older workers.
Mr McGuigan said looking for a job had been “extremely depressing”.
His message now is to those in the same situation — “Don’t give up, there’s always something you can do”.