Posts Tagged “jobss for older workers”

Older workers must not be left behind when it comes to digital skills training, according to a survey and report from Business in the Community.

The poll of 2,000 employees, 1,000 of whom were over 50, found that older workerss are not receiving the training and skills development they need to succeed in the digital era. Only 25% of employees aged 50-59, and 22% of those aged 60-69, felt their employer encouraged them to take up learning and development opportunities. This is compared with 44% of 18-39 year-olds and 32% of 40-49 year-olds.

Older workers were also more likely to feel that their employer did not inform them about how technology and automation would impact their job compared to younger employees.

Separate research from McKinsey Global Institute has forecast that up to a third of US and German workers, and nearly half of those in Japan, may need to switch occupations by 2030 due to a sudden surge in automation. The researchers describe this as an upheaval on a par with the shift from agriculture to manufacturing.

Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Alliance Manchester Business School, told the Financial Times that that older workers, who remember a time when jobs were for life, may struggle with re-skilling.

“Thirty years ago the psychological contract was if you [work hard] for us we’ll give you career development,” he said. “Now the contract is that we expect you to be committed . . . but we cannot guarantee future employment.”

Therefore, what can businesses do to support older workers in their upskilling journey? Nupur Malik is the HR Director at Tata Consultancy Services, which helped support the Business in the Community research. She called on organisations to take action.

“We believe that training and development is an ongoing process and support all our employees to gain the skills needed to succeed at work, whatever their age,” she said. “Taking action will mean more businesses can thrive in an increasingly competitive global business environment and support employees to stay in good work for longer.”

“By supporting older workers to be ‘digital adopters’ employers can show they value experience, ambition and ensure that their businesses are prepared for future skills shortages,” added Lincoln.

Source:HR Grapevine

If you have an elderly parent, there is a worrying new fraud that you must warn them of, after a number of older Aussies were robbed of their life savings by a particularly complex phone-and-bank scam.

The unusually detailed fraud runs like this: a person telephones, claiming to be from an expensive jewellery store, and warns the victim that their credit card is being used to purchase a particularly pricey item.

The ‘jewellery salesperson’ informs tells the victim that they’re concerned their card is being used fraudulently and warns them to call their bank and the police, and even helpfully offers to transfer them to the police so they can report the crime.

However, the phone transfer is to a fake police officer, who then advises the victim that staff within their own Australian bank are involved in the fraud and that they must not alert them that the gig’s up. Instead, the ‘police officer’ advises the victim to transfer the money they have in their Australian bank account to a UK account via the international bank transfer system, in order to ‘protect’ it from the scammers.

The victim is warned to carry out the transfer without mentioning its purpose to bank staff, whether they do so by telephone or in a branch.

But the UK bank accounts are actually controlled by the scammers, who then make off with the money. Once money leaves Australia, it is difficult to retrieve, even if it is paid into a legitimate UK bank account.

The fraudsters are known to be targeting Australians over the age of 75. And although their ploy may sound implausible, Starts at 60 has been told that a number of older people have sent a significant sum overseas in just the past few days.



For Christine Snelling, love is enough.

For almost 40 per cent of grandparents, though, it’s not. They believe they deserve to be paid for looking after their grandchildren.

Ms Snelling – a 69-year-old retiree – spends her days chasing after an energetic six-year-old grandson. She packs lunches, does the morning school run, makes afternoon tea and then dinner.

Her daughter is a single mother, for whom paid childcare is out of reach.

Ms Snelling doesn’t mind stepping in and last December moved into a granny flat on her daughter’s Gisborne property, north of Melbourne, to make things a little easier.

“It’s what I’m here for,” she says.

For a long time, that’s how most baby-boomer grandparents have felt.

But it seems love only goes so far for the generation whose retirement dreams have been hindered by their family ties.

Two in five Australian grandparents believe they should be paid for taking care of their grandchildren, new research shows.

One in four would like to provide less care than they do.

On average, grandparents are caring for each of their grandchildren for 16 hours each week.

Most say their lives revolve around their childcare commitments: 75 per cent of grandparents live closer to their children to help take care of the grandchildren; 58 per cent forfeit recreation; 42 per cent sacrifice travel; and 30 per cent change their work arrangements.

A survey commissioned by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency shows more than 37 per cent of grandparents believe they should be paid for taking care of their grandchildren.

But it’s likely that number is even higher, ASIA spokesman Simon Hovell said.

“There is a stigma around asking for money,” Mr Hovell said. “It’s reasonable to assume that there is a percentage of grandparents who would like to be paid, but feel uncomfortable asking for it.”

Still, the vast majority of Australian grandparents – 84 per cent – say they care for their grandchildren “out of love”.

The survey shows many Australians believe grandparents providing childcare free of charge is a “normal part” of how a family should operate. The older generation in particular feels that if their parents were able to “make do” in their day without pay, so should they.

It’s just as well, because around 937,000 children in Australia are currently receiving care from their grandparents.

It’s saving the country $127.4 million each week in childcare costs.

That figure, however, is calculated at a rate of $8.50 an hour – a fraction of what the vast majority of parents are paying for childcare.

Some countries pay grandparents to look after children in the same way nannies are paid, or allow the transfer of paid parental leave entitlements to grandparents so new parents can return to work earlier. In the UK the issue was addressed years ago, with the creation of special welfare payments for grandparents who care for a child under the age of 12.

Last year, the Australian government’s National Commission of Audit recommended grandparents be eligible for a childcare payment.

The proposal was also raised by independent senators Glenn Lazarus and Jacqui Lambie as part of a crossbench wish-list in exchange for supporting the federal government’s $3.2 billion families package.

But the suggestion was rebuffed by Treasurer Scott Morrison who said: “For those who are doing the normal thing like my parents do and a lot of peoples’ parents do then, no, the government isn’t considering that.”


37% Want t obe paid for caring for their Grandchildren

23% Don’t want to look after their Grandchildren as much as they do

75% Live closer to help take care of their Grandchildren

58% Say they have to sacrifice their lifestyle and recreation

42% Say they have to sacrifice their travel and holiday plans

30% Say they have to alter their work arrangements



Saturday Aug 16, 2014

Brian Gaynor on business Business Economy… Employment Opinion

Only Chile, Iceland, Mexico and Korea have a higher percentage of the 65-plus age group in the workforce than New Zealand, where increasingly more young adults are extending their education.
Only Chile, Iceland, Mexico and Korea have a higher percentage of the 65-plus age group in the workforce than New Zealand, where increasingly more young adults are extending their education.
The New Zealand workforce has changed dramatically over the past 24 years.

In mid-1990 our workforce was young and energetic with 338,500, or 22 per cent, of all employed workers in the 15 to 24 age bracket. By mid-2014 the total number of 15 to 24 year old workers had declined to 325,700 or just 14 per cent of the workforce.

This development has been mainly due to a dramatic increase in the number of 15 to 24-year-olds undertaking additional, post-secondary school education.

Meanwhile, the number of workers aged 65 and over has soared from 23,900 in 1990 to 127,500 in mid-2014. In other words individuals aged 65 and over now represent 5.5 per cent of the workforce compared with just 1.6 per cent 24 years ago.

Energetic grey-haired men and women have replaced young employees in shops, offices, medical centres and other areas of employment.

Based on current trends there is a strong possibility that by 2054 there will be more individuals from the 65- plus age group in full or part time employment than 15 to 24-year- olds.

This has major implications for our economy, NZ Superannuation and KiwiSaver.

The accompanying table shows how employment trends have changed since mid-1990, particularly as far as the 15 to 24 and the 65 and over age groups are concerned.

The first point to note is that the unemployment rate is the number of individuals who are actively looking for a job but cannot find one.

The second point is the participation rate, which is the percentage of an age group in the workforce, both employed and unemployed.

The participation rate for the 65 and over age group has soared from just 6.9 per cent in 1990 to 20.6 per cent in the June 2014 Household Labour Force Survey. The 65 years- plus male participation rate has risen from 10.6 per cent to 26.5 per cent while the female rate has increased from 4 per cent to 15.3 per cent over this 24-year period.

There are more elderly New Zealanders in the workforce than in most other countries. For example, our 65-plus participation rate is 20.6 per cent compared with 18.7 per cent in United States, 12.1 per cent in Australia and just 9.8 per cent in the United Kingdom. Europeans retire much earlier, with France, Germany, Italy and Spain having 65 years of age-plus workplace participation rates of 2.3 per cent, 5.5 per cent, 3.5 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

Only Chile, Iceland, Mexico and Korea have a higher percentage of the 65-plus age group in the workforce than New Zealand.

There are a number of reasons why more and more of the 65-plus age group are remaining in the workforce.

These include:

• Health – individuals are healthier and living longer.

• Education – highly educated people work longer and our workforce is far better qualified than it was in 1990.

• Occupations – there are more and more clerical, non-manual jobs, that suit older workers.

• Financial – New Zealanders are concerned about their low level of savings and rising health costs, particularly health insurance.

• Rules and regulations – the removal of the mandatory retirement age in 1999 and the introduction of anti-discrimination rules as far as older workers are concerned.

• Family dynamics – a high percentage of women stay in the workforce until their husbands retire as do individuals, particularly women over 65, after a marriage breakup.

• Employer preferences – employers seem to have a liking for 65-plus-year-olds because this age group has a 1.6 per cent unemployment rate compared with 14 per cent for the 15 to 24 age group and 5.4 per cent for the total workforce.

But New Zealand Superannuation is one of the main reasons why such a high percentage of the population stay in the workforce after they reach 65 years of age.

NZ Super is relatively unique because it applies to everyone once they reach 65 years of age, is not subject to any income test or means test and is not contingent on retirement.

Thus, there is a strong incentive for individuals to stay in the workforce until they reach 65.

However, lowly paid workers are effectively incentivised to retire when they start receiving NZ Super because this represents a high percentage of their preretirement income.

Conversely, highly paid individuals have a strong incentive to stay in the workforce because NZ Super is neither income tested nor means tested and represents a much smaller per cent of their employment income.

In other words, NZ Super is an extremely effective culling system because it encourages unskilled workers to leave the workforce while enticing the highly skilled to stay.

In addition, most New Zealanders have the majority of their wealth tied up in residential property, which doesn’t generate income if it is the family home. Thus, they are incentivised to continue working because of the low level of income generated from their property-dominated investment portfolio.

What will be the long-term impact of KiwiSaver on the country’s workforce, particularly the number of 65-year-olds and over that will want to remain working?

Overseas studies show that individuals in a defined contribution superannuation scheme (a scheme where the outcome is unknown and is determined by investment returns) usually work longer than individuals who are in a defined benefit superannuation scheme (they received a fixed income every week or month regardless of investment returns).

As KiwiSaver is a defined contribution scheme it should not have a major impact on the willingness of our over 65s to continue working.

However, there is a strong argument that compulsory superannuation in Australia, which is also a defined contribution scheme, is encouraging our transtasman cousins to retire earlier because of the huge lump sums they have built up.

However, if employers here are willing to make a voluntary contribution to KiwiSaver schemes after their employees reach 65, it would be a huge incentive for New Zealanders to remain in the workforce.

Recent studies, particularly an AMP survey, indicate that a large percentage of KiwiSaver members want to use KiwiSaver to repay their mortgage and other borrowings. This suggests that KiwiSaver is not going to discourage the 65 years and over age group from remaining in the workforce.

There is no doubt that a greying workforce is a positive development for the New Zealand economy. This is because it helps retain our more highly skilled workers, it enables younger people to obtain additional education and it keeps the pressure off wage increases, inflation and interest rates.

However, one of the country’s main challenges is to raise our overall skills level, particularly in information technology where older workers have limited abilities.

It is depressing to note that 371,500 individuals, representing 16 per cent of the total workforce, have absolutely no formal qualifications, either school or post-school.

These individuals will find it increasingly difficult to find gainful employment in the modern economy.

Conversely, this gives the highly skilled 65-plus age group more and more opportunities to remain in the workforce.

Source: New Zealand Herald