When looking at a candidate for a temporary or permanent role, some recruiters may see older age as a negative factor. However, experts believe that older workers have a lot to offer the labour market in Australia and should not be overlooked.
Older workers have a lot to offer the labour market in Australia and should not be overlooked.
Older workers have plenty to offer
According to a recent PwC report, Australia is ranked 16th out of a list of 34 OECD countries when it comes to making the most of older workers in the labour market and the positive economic impact their participation can have.
In high-income countries, the population of those aged over 60 is predicted to increase by a third – to 400 million – by 2030. Jeremy Thorpe, economics and policy partner at PwC, said that Australia needs to think about how best to prepare for the challenges and opportunities this presents.
“The Golden Age Index shows that compared to other OECD economies, older Australians are under utilised in the labour market, and our policy frameworks may inhibit their ability to make important contributions to our economic, social and public life,” Mr Thorpe said.
“There is considerable economic gain to Australia in encouraging more older Australians into the workforce. We have a rapidly ageing population, and this puts pressure on the health and social care systems and also threatens the financial sustainability or some public and private pensions.”
“There is considerable economic gain … in encouraging more older Australians into the workforce.”
Experience and work ethic
Among the many benefits that older workers can bring to an organisation are their experience and work ethic. It is likely they have spent a lot more time working in their particular field than their younger colleagues, and this experience means they will have acquired significant levels of knowledge about the industry, and have the potential to take on leadership responsibilities.
Older workers are also seen as hard working and well engaged. A study by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College in the US found that those over 40 demonstrated the highest level of commitment to their organisation and were most engaged with their job.
Australian recruiters often find they’re in a race against time to find the right people to fill roles. However, being successful can be difficult if clients demand arbitrary age ranges for their ideal candidate. Hopefully, this is something that will become less common as more employers realise the potential value of older workers.
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