$10k grants available for employing workers over 50

EMPLOYERS across the country now can access up to $10,000 in grants if they employ workers aged older than 50, under a new Abbott Government plan.

The Restart program, which came into effect on July 1, was launched by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday.

Mr Abbott said the program would help older workers had received income support for six months or more get a job, by giving employers more incentives to employ them.

The program could be especially important in regional Queensland and New South Wales, in areas where there are many older unemployed Australians but fewer job opportunities.

He said the $524 million program would give businesses grants of $3000 after six months and another $3000 after 12 months of employing such workers, with an extra $4000 for an extra 12 months.

The program is part of the government's employment agenda, including the $6500 incentives to help young long-term unemployed people to stay in work for two years.

Mr Abbott said the Restart program recognised that increasing older Australians in the workforce was "critical to our future prosperity".