A grey army is being mobilised in Warrnambool as the city council calls upon reinforcements in its battle against widespread workforce shortages.
Mayor Debbie Arnott said the Unretire the 'Bool campaign had been launched to help find staff after the effect the COVID-19 pandemic had on businesses and employee numbers.
"The Unretire the 'Bool campaign responds to the current labour shortages that have been an issue for some businesses in the post-COVID recovery," she said.
"We know many retired people remain energetic and have invaluable expertise and skills.
"We're keen to see whether local employers can tap into this pool of people."
In the firing line has been Fishtales owner Tamara Mahoney, who said she'd never seen a staff crunch so severe in all her years in business.
"I've been in business 30 years and never have I experienced staff shortages like this," she said.
"The impact of this has affected our trading hours more than ever.
"Un-retiring the Bool to me is a magic idea, it's an untapped resource that can offer so much.
"Not only is it great for the retirees but for businesses to gain their knowledge and experience is so valuable.
"A multi-generational workforce is something we should all be aspiring to and this feels like the first step."
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Warrnambool City Council's manager of economic development Steve Hoy said there were mutual benefits to the new campaign.
"The un-retired worker gains income and can become involved in the social side of a workplace while the employer gains an extra set of hands and someone with great life and work experience," he said.
"We'll be kicking off the program with a free information session on Tuesday March 7, from 3.30pm at the Warrnambool Civic Centre where we'll have an employer talking about the possibilities for older workers.
"There will also be information to address concerns people may have about the financial implications of returning to work.
"There is certainly scope for people to work for a number of hours with minimal or no impact to pensions and we'll be able to provide some very general advice on that."
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