Monday, July 19, 2010

Research: Skill Shortages in Food and Accommodation Industries May Benefit from Aging Population

In published research identifying pressures from low skills, lack of training, and excess turnover in the accommodation and food sectors, the aging population was pointed out as one potential bright spot. According to "Talent Pressures and the Aging Workforce: Responsive Action Steps for the Accommodation & Food Services Sector", published by Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, the aging of the population may offer employers in this sector new opportunities to employ new workers in new ways. In particular, "[t]here is evidence to suggest that the job flexibilities available in accommodation and food services offer promise as a means of attracting these older workers."
[Employers in this sector] are experiencing even greater skill shortages than other sectors, employers in accommodation and food services appear to be responding in a more aggressive fashion in advancing flexible work arrangements. Many of these employers, nevertheless, are also operating “in the dark,” and have surprisingly limited understanding of the demographic make-up of their workforces, the skills shortages that may be on the horizon, and the competency sets of their current employees.
While he exit of older workers from accommodation and food services may exacerbate the impact of talent shortages, the impact may be minimized--and the potential for hiring seen--since tis sector is also heavily reliant on younger workers, with only 8% of its workforce in 2007 beibg aged 55 or older.

Source: Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College Publication News (June 2010)

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