Thursday, January 04, 2007

Australia: Researcher Looking at Improving Retention of Older Workers

According to Megan Tones--a Queensland University of Technology PhD education researcher who is researching the patterns of learning and development amongst older workers and the type of organisational support that might improve retention rates, Australia's economy cannot afford to have large numbers of older people not working. However, Australians can't wait to leave the workforce once they hit 50 causing a looming labour shortage and the dashing of government hopes that people will work into their 70s.
"It is not just the labour shortage and cost of paying pensions to people for 30 years or more, it is also the fact that people who are engaged in enjoyable work have fewer physical and mental health problems thus reducing health spending," Ms Tones said.
She suggests that the hardest-hit sectors will be education, health and community services, mining, agricultural, forestry and fishing, utilities and transport. Among the reasons for the exodus of older workers she cites are ageist and unsupportive workplaces, easy access to income support through private pensions from 55 onwards, and "quite lax" requirements for the disability support pensions.

Source: Queensland University of Technology Press Release (January 4, 2007)

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