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Age Friendly Recruitment - The Answer to Australia's Skills Shortage?

Age Friendly Recruitment - The Answer to Australia's Skills Shortage?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s population is ageing as a result of sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy. Australia has been warned for many years about looming labour and skill shortages caused by an aging population- and now we can add border closures to that equation. Progressive organisations understand that recruiting and retaining older workers is a strategic response to a shrinking labour pool and ageing client base.

Unfortunately however, a recent report released by the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) has found that while workers over the age of 55 could be the solution to bridging the gap in Australia’s labour market, many employers still harbour negative attitudes towards older generations at work.

Increasing the participation of mature aged workers will require overcoming existing barriers affecting their retention and recruitment – but we feel that they are a valuable resource that should not be overlooked!

So, what are some of the advantages of hiring mature aged workers? Here a just some….

  1. Older workers can help overcome challenges such as a shrinking workforce and skills shortages;

  2. Companies can tap into a source of more experienced labour;

  3. You maximise the chances of employing the best person for the job;

  4. Gain access to networks, external interests and life experiences that can add value to your business;

  5. Benefit from strong commitment to your business as mature aged workers are considered more loyal, productive and are less prone to absenteeism;

  6. Be seen as a diverse workplace by customers, clients and the community; and

  7. Access to government funded incentives, provision of special training grants and support for job creation.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the entire Australian workforce, it also presents an opportunity to build back better and more diverse work practices. In a post-COVID future, we can increase age-diversity in workplaces and better engage and include older people in work.

For further reading and advice on how you can become an “age friendly” employer, visit: https://www.businessaustralia.com/how-we-help/be-a-better-employer/managing-people/employing-mature-aged-workers

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