Friday, May 25, 2007

Australia: Older Workers Show Flexibility, Willingness to Learn

Research conducted by Diversity Council Australia (DCA) shows that, for those mature age people not currently in the workforce, one third of all respondents--and 57% of those aged 60 years or under--would be prepared to return to work if they were offered the right job. In addition, one-third of currently employed mature age workers would relocate and more than half would consider doing further study for the right job.
DCA believes its research results are great news for employers and for Australia: “At a time of strong economic growth and labour shortages, there is an exciting pool of talent, ready, willing and able to work,” said [DCA Managing Director, Ms Rohan] Squirchuk. “This research combined with DCA’s expertise in workplace diversity gives employers valuable information about how to better attract and retain talent in a tight labour market.”
Key results of the project--"Grey Matters: Engaging Mature Age Workers"--include:
  • Prior to retiring, the average hours mature-age people worked was 40 hours, while they would have preferred to work 35.
  • Employed mature-age workers indicated their top two ideal employment practices approaching retirement would involve: flexibility in start and finish times, and phased retirement
  • Around 80% of mature-age people not currently employed said working for an organisation that was supportive of their learning and development needs and careers was important or very important in influencing their decision to remain in the workplace.
  • Some 97% of mature-age people indicated working for an organisation that was supportive of older workers was important or very important in influencing their decision to remain in the workplace.
Source: Diversity Council Australia Media Release (May 25, 2007)

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