No rest for the wicked (or old): Older workers remaining in the workforce

Sunday 28 April, 2013
The baby boomers are reaching the official retirement age of 65 but reports state that this generation isn't quite ready to take their gold watches and kick back their heals. Roughly 4.5 million Australians are passing through this retirement phase but the 21st model for a more luxurious and economically comfortable retirement is enticing older employees to remain in the workforce. Personally, I think it's a great change for the Australian workforce because this older generation has the skills and experience that employer's need. OneShift, our online job network,  hosts over 4000 job seeker profiles within this boomer age bracket, 1946 and 1966.  Many are looking for casual and part-time work to keep their lifestyles busy and to ensure a more financially secure future. Employers are also welcoming these older job seekers because they have years of experience and specific industry knowledge under their belts. We have an 83 year old job seeker with a Certificate III and IV in Aged Care and employers love her because she knows how to connect with the older patients and really look after them. Since we launched OneShift almost a year ago, I have personally witnessed  a shift in the perception of employers hiring older people. Businesses are changing the filters on their profile so that only older people with experience can be matched to their position. And let's not forget that the baby boomers who decide to remain in the workforce are also experiencing benefits beyond the financial gains. Those who maintain an active lifestyle and continue to challenge their brains reduce their risk of illnesses and diseases such as dementia that are associated with older age. For others, working can  simply be an excuse to escape the house for a while. Involving themselves in part-time or casual work also allows the opportunity for boomers to try something new. We have job vacancies for florists, for receptionists, for kitchen hands; all low stress, important positions which are suitable for any age. As businesses begin to embrace a more flexible staffing structure, the opportunity to involve oneself in part-time work is becoming more popular and more accepted. What do you think about the boomers staying in work? Do they still play an important role in the workforce? Would you stay at work if you were 65? Would you consider a career change? Let me know your thoughts!
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