Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Survey: Talent Gap Widens as Workforce Ages in G7 Countries

According to a study conducted by Towers-Perrin on behalf of AARP, as the number of workers reaching traditional retirement years increase in the G7 countries, the marketplace is experiencing a decline in the number of skilled younger workers available to fill in the ranks of those retiring. Thus, suggests AARP, employers must end age discrimination in the workplace if countries and employers are to be best positioned to thrive in the global economy tomorrow.

The study--International Profit from Experience--was released in advance of a conference on the same sponsored by AARP, in partnership with the European Commission, the Business Council for the United Nations and Nikkei. Among the survey's key findings:
  • Age discrimination is the single largest barrier for those 50+ who want to continue working past their anticipated retirement age, with at least 60% of employees 50+ in each G7 country viewing age discrimination as the primary barrier to securing new jobs;
  • Older workers in the G7 countries want to continue to work on average an additional 5 years;
  • Surges of immigration and productivity that might offset the anticipated decline in skilled workers are unlikely to occur; and
  • Allowing employees to continue working past their traditional retirement age will not only allow older workers to remain in their careers and stay active, but will have a positive impact on an employer’s bottom line.
Line Vreven, Director of AARP International, says that “While the survey clearly identifies the talent gaps emerging within G7 countries, the responses by employers do not sufficiently address this challenge.” In addition, those "nations working to actively retain older workers and are providing incentives, rather than deterrents, to their continued employment, will reap economic gain in the long-run.”

An executive summary of the full 124-page report is also available.

Source: AARP Press Release (September 25, 2007)

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