A paper released by the Ageing Workforce Working Group recently called attention to issues around the increasingly older workforce in New Zealand.
The paper suggests that a labour shortage and skills deficit combined with “negative myths about older workers” could create the perfect storm for New Zealand’s workforce.
But a recruitment specialist says employers are missing out on great opportunities if they overlook older workers for jobs.
Jane Kennelly, director of Frog Recruitment, told RadioLIVE's Mark Sainsbury that there are some perceptions around the mature workforce that have to be overcome by employers.
It's all about what the job requires.
“Some [employers] feel they cost more than younger workers, other employers feel they’re set in their ways.”
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She says the older worker needs to prepare for the job search well and with preparation comes the rewards.
“It’s all about attitude and preparation and trying to blow those perceptions out of the water.
“It’s all about what the job requires,” she told RadioLIVE.
Ms Kennelly advises employers that older employees are a "bank for buck" considering their maturity and experience.
“If you happen to be lucky enough to employ who’s mature, that has way more experience than the job requires, you get bang for buck - no doubt about it,” she said.
The Ageing Workforce Working Group paper’s key recommendation for changing the status quo is for Government leaders to spark the conversation.
“The current system focuses on investing in the younger age group (and rightly so) to ensure they have the education and skills needed for now and in the future. However, workers who are well established in their careers need training which is flexible, of short duration, frequent, focussed on skills they need to remain relevant and cost effective,” the report details.
BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope has said he supports the working group’s suggestions, remarking that senior workers can be an asset in addressing skill shortages.
Listen to the full interview with Jane Kennelly above.
Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.