Older Australians need to consider new ways of finding work

Unemployment among older adults due to age-related discrimination whilst looking for work is an issue that affects almost one-third of Australians.

 

Discrimination starts from as early as 45 years of age, according to a recent study by the University of South Australia’s Centre for Workplace Excellence.

 

The most common forms of age-based discrimination in the application process older Australians face are prejudices against outdated skills, a lack of technical knowledge or being too slow to learn new things. Those biases make it extremely difficult for elderly persons and retirees to stay in, or re-enter the workforce, the end result being many of them have stopped searching for work.

 

Ben Eatwell, CMO of on-demand recruitment platform Weploy, thinks that the gig economy may be a solution for this issue.

 

He said, “Technology platforms like Weploy can provide that opportunity for seniors to get their 'foot in the door', and we hope that part of the [government's] skills and training incentive will encourage the older generation to embrace modern ways of finding work, as well as the core competencies that work requires."

 

The gig economy offers older workers and retirees a creative way to stay employed and earn some extra income, especially given that retirees who want to boost their income will be able to earn up to $300 each fortnight without it affecting their age pension.

 

Quotes from Ben Eatwell said, "The [Commonwealth] budget this year focused upon the older cohort of Australia's workforce that is being left behind.”

 

“It's pleasing to see measures to increase skills and training amongst this generation of the workforce. What is missing often is the ability to get their foot in the door - to enable an older Australian to prove they can provide fantastic benefits to modern businesses.”

 

“There is no age limit to working for Weploy, and our platform actively fights ageism and discrimination – along with any other form of unconscious bias in the recruitment process – by directly matching employers with job seekers purely based on skill.”

 

See “Work well;retire well: Findings from the Work, Care, Health and Retirement. 'Ageing Agenders' Project 2017" at http://www.unisabusinessschool.edu.au/research/cwex/our-research/projects/

 

19 May 2018.