Older workers are coming back into fashion.
Older workers are able to work, looking to work, and no one to hire them. Older workers are not 60+, they are in their mid-40’s and upwards.
With the GFC, globalisation, structural and technical workforce change in Australia, the nature of demand for labour in Australia coupled with inflexibilities in the Australian labour market, large scale structural problems have occurred.
One of these structural problems is the “under-utilised of talent” and this is where older workers become part of the equation. Older workers and their talent should be utilised in the new disruption that is happening across the Australian economy to drive future innovation.
Older workers are depositories of tactic knowledge i.e. knowledge that is not captured in data or on computers. This is increasingly important in modern organisations where labour turnover in increasing. Older workers are a source of valuable life skills and company knowledge. They bring maturity and wisdom to business. It is the wisdom that companies need, to solve problems. Many of the problems that arise in organisations are through lack of experience and the confidence to deal with them. An older worker (with that valuable life skills and industry knowledge) can work on the problem in the background and put the problem to bed.
The average of Vita Needles workers is 74 years old and that’s no accident. The manufacturing company has intentionally hired seniors – a decision that has increased profits and benefitted older workers who often have a harder time finding a job.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission is one of those proactive government agencies leading the way in recognising the untapped talent. In a recent job advertisement, they are seeking “(older) applicants that have taken a long-term break from the work force and are looking to return are strongly encouraged to apply.”
Re-think Re-engage Australia, a NFP organisation dedicated to re-engaging older workers back into the workforce, are looking to showcase organisations that have made a decision to re-engage older workers and highlight their success.
Contact Tony Wiggins 0401 458 573 to discuss how we can work in highlighting the skills and knowledge of our older workers in driving the productivity of the Australian economy.
Graphics: The Road Ahead and Gather Change
About the Author
Tony Wiggins is the Founder of Re-think Re-engage Australia, a NFP organisation committed to leading innovative workforce thinking to re-engage the untapped talent of older workers in the Australian economy. His extensive experience and talent as a senior HR professional is highly sought after in developing forward thinking strategies to take Australia into the future global economy.
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