Saturday, September 16, 2006

Canada: Retired Persons Association Becoming Advocate for Hiring Older Workers

Daniel Drolet, in his weekly Ottawa Citizen column on retailing, writes about how hiring older workers may be the solution to the growing labor shortage for retail businesses. Judy Cutler, director of government relations for CARP, says "We have older workers who want to work. Why not embrace their expertise?"
In many ways, retail sales jobs seem perfect for aging workers who crave social interaction, don't want a full-time job, like the idea of being able to leave for a few months to go south in winter, and who, if they have pensions, don't necessarily have to worry about the benefits.

However, Ms. Cutler says embracing older workers is going to require a change in attitude on the part of employers.

"People still have trouble getting jobs because of their age," she said, adding that these days, an older worker is anyone over the age of 45. "We hear from people who are cutting their resumes in half to make it look like they are not old enough to have done everything they have done."
CARP now devotes part of its website to helping older workers find jobs. "We're not advocating for mandatory employment," said Ms. Cutler. "We don't expect that all older workers will want to work. But I'd like to see more inter-generational interaction and activity. I think it's part of a holistic approach to accepting the aging population.

Source: Ottawa (CA) Citizen "Older workers could be new answer to labour shortage" (September 15, 2006)

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