Posts Tagged “older workers”

The Big Victorian Harvest needs workers of all ages and skillsets. Jobs include fruit picking, packing, grains receival and heavy vehicle driving.

Most jobs required skills that can be learned on the job. Some jobs require training, skills or licences – like driving, for example. Check what’s needed before you apply.

The work is rewarding but it can be physically demanding. Some jobs may require heavy lifting, bending, climbing ladders and operating machinery. Work is often outdoors and exposed to the elements.

There are thousands of short-term jobs ripe for the picking in paddocks and packing sheds in Sunraysia, the Goulburn Valley, the Yarra Valley and Gippsland.

Take on the Big Victorian Harvest and help our farmers while you earn money.

Ready to apply? Head to Working for Victoria, the government’s online job-matching platform to register for jobs and training.

Sign-on bonus and extra benefits

The Big Victorian Harvest needs workers of all ages and skillsets. Jobs include fruit picking, packing, grains receival and heavy vehicle driving.

Most jobs required skills that can be learned on the job. Some jobs require training, skills or licences – like driving, for example. Check what’s needed before you apply.

The work is rewarding but it can be physically demanding. Some jobs may require heavy lifting, bending, climbing ladders and operating machinery. Work is often outdoors and exposed to the elements.

Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus

Jobseekers who take up a seasonal harvest job on a Victorian farm on or after Wednesday 17 February 2021 can apply for a Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus.

The bonus is aimed at attracting new workers to agriculture and giving farmers the workforce certainty they need this harvest season.

The bonus means you could earn up to $2,430 on top of your wages for eight weeks of work. The bonus is paid in two instalments:

  • $810, after 10 days of work within a 30-day period
  • $1,620, after an additional six weeks’ work within a 90-day period.

To be eligible for the bonus you must:

  • be 18 years or older and have work rights in Australia
  • not have worked in the agriculture sector in Victoria in the past three months
  • complete at least 10 days’ seasonal harvest work on a Victorian horticulture farm within a 30 day period to receive the $810 payment
  • complete at least another 30 days’ seasonal harvest work on a Victorian horticulture farm within a 90 day period to receive the $1,620 payment
  • not be employed under the Pacific Labour Scheme or Seasonal Worker Programme
  • provide evidence of employment in the Victorian horticulture industry and that you have met the work eligibility requirements.

The work does not need to be undertaken with only one employer, but it does need to be on a Victorian horticulture farm.

How to apply

Workers are not required to register for the bonus until after the initial 10-day work eligibility period has been completed.

Once you have completed your 10 days’ work, you will be able to apply for the bonus on this webpage, through our online portal.

Further details about how to apply will be provided here soon.

Extra benefits

The Victorian and Commonwealth Government are offering incentives for people to work in agriculture.

Relocation rebate

If you move to work on the Big Victorian Harvest, you may be eligible for relocation assistance from the Commonwealth Government.

Australian jobseekers may be eligible to claim up to $6,000 of reimbursements, while up to $2,000 is available to international jobseekers.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • relocate within Australia to a regional, remote or Harvest Area
  • take up a short-term agricultural work through a Harvest Trail Services provider
  • work for at least six weeks and 120 hours in agricultural work.

Find out more about relocation rebate and the eligibility criteria on the Harvest Trail Services website.

If you take on the Big Victorian Harvest, you may be eligible for:

  • Greater access to Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY. Earn $15,000 in agriculture between 30 November 2020 and 31 December 2021 to be considered independent.
  • Free Victorian Government-funded training programs to get you ready for work in agriculture.

Eligibility to work

You can work in a harvest job if you:

  • are an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • are an eligible working holiday maker holding a visa with appropriate working rights
  • are an overseas student with working rights in Australia
  • hold a Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme visa
  • hold a temporary work visa with general work rights, not restricted to an employer or type of work.

Who is going to hire a woman in her 50s?

It’s a question Tracey Ward has been asking herself a lot lately.

The 56-year-old is a self-employed life coach for women, but has seen her income dry up due to the pandemic.

She’s surviving off JobKeeper payments, but when the subsidy is scrapped in March, Ms Ward is afraid she will “really struggle”.

She knows she could get some sort of work – “there are organisations like Bunnings who hire people of all ages”, she said – but she wants something different for herself and fears the lack of attention from the federal government on her age group could signal the end of her career.

While the government has focused on the high levels of youth unemployment borne out of the pandemic, middle-aged, mid-career workers say they have been forgotten.

The unemployment rate for Australians aged over 40 was 3.8 per cent in January 2020 and grew to 5.2 per cent in July before recovering slightly to 4.7 per cent by October.

Some of those stuck unemployed say they are dumbing down their resumes to appear less threatening to potential new employers; others, like Ms Ward, wish funding could be funnelled into upskilling rather than hiring incentives based on age.

‘If you’re 40-plus and a woman you just don’t get a new job’

A woman in a red cap and sunglasses leans on a wooden railing over the sea.
Sheena Gulati has been told she’s too qualified for the jobs she applies for.(Supplied)

Sheena Gulati was told many times in 2020 that she was “overqualified” for a role.

The 43-year-old lives in Sydney with her husband and two children.

Before the pandemic hit, she was working as a part-time contractor in accounting and finance.

Of all the reasons to be rejected from a job, being “too experienced” wasn’t something she expected to hear.

“They want someone who is young because I think they think overqualified people will ask more questions and tell them how to do things better,” Ms Gulati said.

She suspects her qualifications have little to do with it.

“It’s your age they’re talking about,” she said.

Ms Gulati felt the competition within the jobs market ramp up, and said she is surrounded by friends and family in their 40s who are struggling to secure work.

It’s become so tough she’s considering a career change.

“I have been thinking about it, but it would be a fresh start. It’s scary. I have been in this line of work for a really long time, my qualifications are in this so it will be hard starting afresh,” she said.

“If you’re 40-plus and a woman you just don’t get a new job.”

Her mortgage, other household bills and the expense of raising two children is beginning to bite and Ms Gulati says she’s frustrated the government appeared to forget about middle-aged Australians.

“Why does the government want to give more benefits to elderly people over 65 but not us? What do you do between 35 and 50? Where do you go? What do you want us to do?

“I think it’s unjust – your partiality is based on age. Why? I have no idea.”

Need a job? Learn to ask

A woman sits at a table smiling into the camera.
Career practitioner Lois Keay-Smith says mature-aged workers can’t rely on what worked for them the first time around.(Supplied)

Career practitioner Lois Keay-Smith has been coaching people looking for a new job for years, and primarily helps people aged 30 to 60.

She said, surprisingly, the pandemic appeared to be the last straw for people looking for a career change.

“It’s highlighted aspects of their work they don’t like. It’s given people some freedom to say, ‘I wasn’t happy anyway and with all these changes I want to go and do what I want to do’,” she said.

Ms Keay-Smith said older workers “definitely” faced challenges, like adapting to a new work environment where competition for jobs was high.

“I find some mature work-seekers fall back on what worked for them last time, but it doesn’t work because there are so many more eyeballs on job ads,” she said.

“But an advantage they have is they have good networks; they’ve been in the workforce and often the work I do is help them activate that network.”

Ms Keay-Smith says one of the best pieces of advice she has is: learn to ask.

“I call it the rise of the returnee – going back to a company you used to work for by tapping into those colleagues you used to work with before,” she said.

“There used to be a stigma around that – you never go back – but that’s changed and both of these things around people are more accepting that things change in organisations quite rapidly.”

Ms Keay-Smith also says she’s heard the ‘overqualified’ response quite a lot when it comes to mature workers.

“[The company’s] main concern is that you are using the job as an entry point,” she said.

“They feel you are not going to stay because it’s not fulfilling and you might get bored.”

Her advice for people who do want to scale down their role is to be honest.

“If you know you are going to get the overqualified response, you do have to address the elephant in the room and say why you are attracted to this role.

“It’s about positioning yourself as a stayer or someone who can contribute a lot in a short space of time.”

Ms Keay-Smith’s top career advice is:

  • Use your networks.
  • Get comfortable being on camera. Practise interviews on Zoom with a friend.
  • Don’t be afraid to go back to a company you used to work for.
  • Get up to speed with the latest interview techniques.

Older workers want to upskill

Hands are seen on the keyboard of a laptop.
Tracey Ward doesn’t want a handout, she wants to learn new skills to improve her business.(Unsplash: Thomas Lefebvre)

While Ms Ward believes an incentive to hire young people is great, she says helping people who are mid-career would have a greater benefit overall.

“Younger people have time to try things and fail and learn from it, but it becomes more scary when you’re older and have a mortgage to pay and have no back-up plan,” she said.

“You’re very conscious of your superannuation for retirement.

“I am very proud to be a woman in my 50s, but I know women who don’t let their hair go grey because if their company finds out how old they are they go in the redundancy pile.”

Just like Ms Gulati, Ms Ward has heard employers say they don’t want to hire qualified, older workers because they are afraid they will “make waves”.

She has friends who have pared back their resumes after being told they are “too experienced” for a role.

“It’s desperate and very real for many especially women; grey-haired men are classed as distinguished and experienced whereas grey-haired women aren’t. We are not revered for our wisdom.”

Ms Ward doesn’t just want to be hired, she wants to upskill to remain relevant in the ever-digitising workplace.

“Everything is going online and into a digital space so fast and some older people are being left behind because there’s no time or money to reskill,” she said.

“I have just spent the past hour trying to work out how I record myself whilst I’m recording a presentation on the Mac, so there’s endless [challenges].”

Sometimes she laughs it off. Other times it’s overwhelming.

Ms Ward said an upskilling program where companies provide pro-bono work for older people to learn digital skills would go a long way, and be much more helpful than just being hired by a company because there’s a monetary incentive.

“I’m not talking about someone from Centrelink showing me how to do it for half an hour on video. I’m talking about someone who is at the head of their game getting a tax incentive to help me step up my business,” she said.

“And then I could employ people so it could be a win if other companies were encouraged to help people like me because I don’t have the funds to do it myself.

“I don’t want a free handbag. I want my business to be really successful. I’d happily be the pilot for it.”

Have you been rejected for a job because you are ‘too qualified’? Does the system discriminate against older Australians?

Who is going to hire a woman in her 50s?

It’s a question Tracey Ward has been asking herself a lot lately.

The 56-year-old is a self-employed life coach for women, but has seen her income dry up due to the pandemic.

She’s surviving off JobKeeper payments, but when the subsidy is scrapped in March, Ms Ward is afraid she will “really struggle”.

She knows she could get some sort of work – “there are organisations like Bunnings who hire people of all ages”, she said – but she wants something different for herself and fears the lack of attention from the federal government on her age group could signal the end of her career.

While the government has focused on the high levels of youth unemployment borne out of the pandemic, middle-aged, mid-career workers say they have been forgotten.

The unemployment rate for Australians aged over 40 was 3.8 per cent in January 2020 and grew to 5.2 per cent in July before recovering slightly to 4.7 per cent by October.

Some of those stuck unemployed say they are dumbing down their resumes to appear less threatening to potential new employers; others, like Ms Ward, wish funding could be funnelled into upskilling rather than hiring incentives based on age.

‘If you’re 40-plus and a woman you just don’t get a new job’

A woman in a red cap and sunglasses leans on a wooden railing over the sea.
Sheena Gulati has been told she’s too qualified for the jobs she applies for.(Supplied)

Sheena Gulati was told many times in 2020 that she was “overqualified” for a role.

The 43-year-old lives in Sydney with her husband and two children.

Before the pandemic hit, she was working as a part-time contractor in accounting and finance.

Of all the reasons to be rejected from a job, being “too experienced” wasn’t something she expected to hear.

“They want someone who is young because I think they think overqualified people will ask more questions and tell them how to do things better,” Ms Gulati said.

She suspects her qualifications have little to do with it.

“It’s your age they’re talking about,” she said.

Ms Gulati felt the competition within the jobs market ramp up, and said she is surrounded by friends and family in their 40s who are struggling to secure work.

It’s become so tough she’s considering a career change.

“I have been thinking about it, but it would be a fresh start. It’s scary. I have been in this line of work for a really long time, my qualifications are in this so it will be hard starting afresh,” she said.

“If you’re 40-plus and a woman you just don’t get a new job.”

Her mortgage, other household bills and the expense of raising two children is beginning to bite and Ms Gulati says she’s frustrated the government appeared to forget about middle-aged Australians.

“Why does the government want to give more benefits to elderly people over 65 but not us? What do you do between 35 and 50? Where do you go? What do you want us to do?

“I think it’s unjust – your partiality is based on age. Why? I have no idea.”

Need a job? Learn to ask

A woman sits at a table smiling into the camera.
Career practitioner Lois Keay-Smith says mature-aged workers can’t rely on what worked for them the first time around.(Supplied)

Career practitioner Lois Keay-Smith has been coaching people looking for a new job for years, and primarily helps people aged 30 to 60.

She said, surprisingly, the pandemic appeared to be the last straw for people looking for a career change.

“It’s highlighted aspects of their work they don’t like. It’s given people some freedom to say, ‘I wasn’t happy anyway and with all these changes I want to go and do what I want to do’,” she said.

Ms Keay-Smith said older workers “definitely” faced challenges, like adapting to a new work environment where competition for jobs was high.

“I find some mature work-seekers fall back on what worked for them last time, but it doesn’t work because there are so many more eyeballs on job ads,” she said.

“But an advantage they have is they have good networks; they’ve been in the workforce and often the work I do is help them activate that network.”

Ms Keay-Smith says one of the best pieces of advice she has is: learn to ask.

“I call it the rise of the returnee – going back to a company you used to work for by tapping into those colleagues you used to work with before,” she said.

“There used to be a stigma around that – you never go back – but that’s changed and both of these things around people are more accepting that things change in organisations quite rapidly.”

Ms Keay-Smith also says she’s heard the ‘overqualified’ response quite a lot when it comes to mature workers.

“[The company’s] main concern is that you are using the job as an entry point,” she said.

“They feel you are not going to stay because it’s not fulfilling and you might get bored.”

Her advice for people who do want to scale down their role is to be honest.

“If you know you are going to get the overqualified response, you do have to address the elephant in the room and say why you are attracted to this role.

“It’s about positioning yourself as a stayer or someone who can contribute a lot in a short space of time.”

Ms Keay-Smith’s top career advice is:

  • Use your networks.
  • Get comfortable being on camera. Practise interviews on Zoom with a friend.
  • Don’t be afraid to go back to a company you used to work for.
  • Get up to speed with the latest interview techniques.

Older workers want to upskill

Hands are seen on the keyboard of a laptop.
Tracey Ward doesn’t want a handout, she wants to learn new skills to improve her business.(Unsplash: Thomas Lefebvre)

While Ms Ward believes an incentive to hire young people is great, she says helping people who are mid-career would have a greater benefit overall.

“Younger people have time to try things and fail and learn from it, but it becomes more scary when you’re older and have a mortgage to pay and have no back-up plan,” she said.

“You’re very conscious of your superannuation for retirement.

“I am very proud to be a woman in my 50s, but I know women who don’t let their hair go grey because if their company finds out how old they are they go in the redundancy pile.”

Just like Ms Gulati, Ms Ward has heard employers say they don’t want to hire qualified, older workers because they are afraid they will “make waves”.

She has friends who have pared back their resumes after being told they are “too experienced” for a role.

“It’s desperate and very real for many especially women; grey-haired men are classed as distinguished and experienced whereas grey-haired women aren’t. We are not revered for our wisdom.”

Ms Ward doesn’t just want to be hired, she wants to upskill to remain relevant in the ever-digitising workplace.

“Everything is going online and into a digital space so fast and some older people are being left behind because there’s no time or money to reskill,” she said.

“I have just spent the past hour trying to work out how I record myself whilst I’m recording a presentation on the Mac, so there’s endless [challenges].”

Sometimes she laughs it off. Other times it’s overwhelming.

Ms Ward said an upskilling program where companies provide pro-bono work for older people to learn digital skills would go a long way, and be much more helpful than just being hired by a company because there’s a monetary incentive.

“I’m not talking about someone from Centrelink showing me how to do it for half an hour on video. I’m talking about someone who is at the head of their game getting a tax incentive to help me step up my business,” she said.

“And then I could employ people so it could be a win if other companies were encouraged to help people like me because I don’t have the funds to do it myself.

“I don’t want a free handbag. I want my business to be really successful. I’d happily be the pilot for it.”

Have you been rejected for a job because you are ‘too qualified’? Does the system discriminate against older Australians?

Youth employment subsidy may cause significant collateral damage.

Older workers are already losing their jobs as a result of the federal government’s JobMaker initiative, according to Ian Yates, chief executive of the Council on the Ageing (COTA).

“We are very worried,” he said. “Already we’ve seen reports of older workers being laid off so they can be replaced with JobMaker workers.”

Mr Yates said COTA, an advocate for the rights of older Australians, had heard from “several” mature-aged workers being given notice as their bosses looked to take advantage of the JobMaker subsidy, introduced during the recent federal budget to counter youth unemployment.

JobMaker aims to create 450,000 jobs for young people, who’ve been four times more likely to lose their jobs or have their hours cut during the coronavirus pandemic. It offers $200 a week for businesses to hire workers under the age of 30, who are currently on JobSeeker, receiving a Youth Allowance or the Parenting Payment for at least 20 hours per week. The subsidy is $100 a week for workers aged 30 to 35. All businesses, except for the major banks, can access the scheme, which will be available for up to a year.

The Guardian reports: “Treasury officials revealed the conservative estimated benefit of the JobMaker hiring credit on Monday, ahead of a snap inquiry likely to spark calls to legislate more safeguards to the program.”

When the subsidy was proposed, ACTU Australian Council of Trade Unions president Michele O’Neil said JobMaker had many flaws that “hadn’t been thought through”.

Ms O’Neill was concerned that older workers would be replaced by several younger ones.

“You’ve increased overall headcount and payroll, but replaced older workers with younger ones,” she told The New Daily.

“The employer will get double the wage subsidy if they employ two workers for 20 hours a week than if it was one for 40 hours. There’s no requirement for secure jobs or full-time jobs. They could hire them for a short period and replace them with another worker.”

Greens leader Adam Bandt wanted to see details of the scheme, concerned it might worsen the unemployment crisis. And Labor leader Anthony Albanese was concerned 928,000 jobless people aged over 35 would be disadvantaged.

Mr Yates sought a subsidy for older workers.

“Many mature-aged workers who are out of work due to the pandemic are facing disastrous personal circumstances. The Liquid Assets Waiting Period means they must spend their savings before they can get help: savings they will need in retirement,” Mr Yates told senior.com.au.

“Australia needs urgent action, or we’ll push a huge group, mostly women, into poverty in old age.”

Mr Yates supported the scheme but said mature and older workers were “equally vulnerable”.

He said people aged 18 to 24 and over-55s were most in need, and older people took twice as long to get a job.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that the headcount and payroll of businesses needed to be higher after they hired people via JobMaker. He said this “integrity test” would ensure older workers were not exploited.

However, there is already rampant age discrimination in employment, said Professor Marian Baird, who heads work and organisational studies at the University of Sydney.

Prof. Baird told the ABC that JobMaker provided an incentive for employers to “cherry-pick people of a certain age”.

She feared it could encourage employers to “abandon older people in the labour market”.

“So, you could substitute someone who is 40 with someone who is 22.”

Prof. Baird said it was “a recipe for casualisation” because employers were only required to hire people for an average of 20 hours a week over a quarter to qualify for the subsidy.

“Someone could work 30 or 40 hours a week, none the next,” she said. “There’s no indication jobs have to be permanent or ongoing.”

Professor Andrew Stewart, an employment law specialist at the University of Adelaide, said the scheme would be difficult to police.

Anglicare Australia’s annual Jobs Availability Snapshot found that disadvantaged jobseekers, including older workers, were competing with more people for fewer jobs.

This year, eight jobseekers are competing for each entry-level job. If all jobseekers are included, there are 106 jobseekers for each entry-level job.

There are also 1.63 million under-employed Australians who could also be competing for these jobs.

“If we’re serious about helping people, we need to create jobs that match their skills – instead of forcing them to compete for jobs that just aren’t there,” said Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers

 

Source:Yourlifechoices.com.au

Older adults offer leadership and experience, yet are often overlooked in the hiring process with HR instead focusing on millennials. That’s according to Ben Eatwell, CMO at Weploy.

Eatwell added that this is often out of a desire to “nurture the next generation of talent”, but also the satisfaction out of having a major impact on these younger minds.

“That’s quite a long way from retirement! We know diversity positively impacts innovation, culture and profits, but often age diversity has less focus.”

Eatwell said there are many advantages to employing older adults, particularly in positions where experience and leadership are needed. However, this doesn’t seem to be translating into more opportunities for older Australians.

“I think this has to do with trying to fit workers into traditional organisational structures – by exploring more agile, networked and outcome-oriented structures it can not only improve diversity but also productivity.”

Eatwell offers a few tips for HR professionals who want to boost the number of older Australians amongst their staff.

The starting point should always be a “thorough assessment of the recruitment process” to identify and mitigate where age discrimination could arise.

“One of the key traits we assess is learning agility – in a nutshell, the ability to pick new ideas up quickly,” he said.

“Research suggests that although you can make small improvements to your learning agility, it is more or less fixed and is not dependent on age.”

Consequently, choosing candidates based on learning agility can help add some objectivity to the hiring process.

From there it’s about developing a culture of lifelong learning. Mature employees have a huge amount of experience to share which can be “leveraged to increase overall productivity and morale”.

“Also I’ve seen reverse mentoring work very well, reducing knowledge gaps with both younger and more mature workers, as well as improving organisational culture.”

So what is lost by having nobody senior around?

“Often it’s the times of crisis when calm is needed, or when team morale is affected by a failed project, that age diverse workforces show critical value,” said Eatwell.

“We do a lot of ‘learning by doing’ and that includes what to do when things do not go according to plan.”

Eatwell added that leadership is a quality that is not tied to age, but the “reassurance of someone who has seen a crisis and worked through it to tell the tale” can be invaluable in making sure the right work gets done in these high-pressure moments.

Sometimes, the only senior person on a project is the boss, and employees are reluctant to confess an error that can lead to disaster if unaddressed, he added.

“Having a senior member of the workforce who can act as that neutral-confidant, and know what to do with the information, has considerable value.”

Employees from diverse ages have different experiences, perceptions and approaches when it comes to things like problem-solving, decision making and task handling, he said.

“They can also use various strategies – starting from the way they think, plan and execute tasks, which can influence operations in a more subtle, but still valuable way.”

Source:hcamag.com

Carol Kulik, Opinion, The Advertiser
November 24, 2017

 

WHEN Australia’s age pension was introduced in 1909, just 4 per cent of the population lived long enough to claim it.
Now, the average Australian is expected to live 15-20 years beyond the traditional retirement age of 65 — and by 2050, nearly a quarter of our population will be aged 65 and over.
Clearly Australia’s ageing workforce is a reality that we cannot afford to ignore. But what can organisations do in order to benefit from this growing demographic?
For older Australians, the key here is choice. On the one hand, they’re physically capable of working longer, so they could stay in the workforce. On the other hand, they’re tempted by retirement so they can travel, spend quality time with family and friends, or pursue a favourite hobby.
Baby Boomers have an unprecedented option to extend their working careers beyond the traditional retirement age, and being the largest — and wealthiest — older generation ever, their motivations for staying in the labour force are dependent on the quality of support they receive from their manager.

So for organisations, the challenge is to adequately deliver just this.

To help you on your way, here are a few strategic tips for attracting, engaging, and retaining older workers in your organisation:

Plan for older workers to be front and centre
Have you reviewed the age profile of your workforce and your customers? Some industries like aged care and financial services rely heavily on older clients and customers but, as the population ages, older Australians will become a fast-growing segment across all industries.
To engage this growing demographic group, you can position your older workers in visible, frontline roles to connect with similar older customers, suppliers and stakeholders.
This sends a strong signal that your organisation values older people, making the business more attractive to both older customers and job applicants.

Listen up — or miss out
How much do you know about the changing needs of your older workers? If you’re to benefit from their experience, you may need to redesign jobs to match the changing physical and psychological needs of an older workforce.
Simple things, like losing the physical components of the job, or increasing their opportunities to engage with other people, can seem like easy adjustments, but unfortunately many older workers have tried unsuccessfully to negotiate such changes.
The consequence is an unhappy older worker, who, tired of being in a job that provides a poor fit, simply “retires”, only to return to the job market a few weeks or months later, with a different organisation.
Just like that, you’ve lost one of your most valuable resources — and when they exit, their skills and experience also go out the door.

Keep an open mind about who does what
Do you assume that interns are young? Do you think that managers should be older than the people they supervise? Traditional ideas about the right age for the right job are quickly becoming outdated, and organisations need to acknowledge this in order to get the most out of the workforce.
In the case of older workers, many are interested in “encore careers” that enable them to pursue opportunities outside their original career choice.
As an employer, you may be able to leverage this by offering older workers opportunities within your organisation, perhaps rotating across roles and units or retraining for different kinds of work.

And remember, keep an eye out for older jobseekers making a “sea change” in occupation or industry — they can bring transferable skills, such as budgeting or project management, and new perspectives to your organisation.

Carol Kulik is professor of human resource management at the University of South Australia

by Kimberly Palmer, AARP

Keep up in the workplace by learning the facts about age discrimination.
Age discrimination is real. Two out of three workers between ages 45 and 74 say they have seen or experienced age discrimination at work, and job seekers over age 35 cite it as a top obstacle to getting hired. And if you happen to work in the high-tech or entertainment industries, your chances of experiencing age discrimination are even higher.

Age Discrimination Facts

Here are 10 important facts you should know about age discrimination:
1.  Age discrimination is illegal at any stage of employment, including during hiring, promotions, raises and layoffs. The law also prohibits workplace harassment, by co-workers states have stronger protections. Also prohibited: mandatory retirement ages except for a few exemptions, such as airline pilots and public safety workers.
2.  It is currently legal for employers and prospective employers to ask your age as well as your graduation date. AARP is working to strengthen protections against this line of inquiry. You can opt to remove this identifying information from your LinkedIn profile, or try to deflect the question in an interview, but there’s nothing stopping a prospective employer from asking.
3.  A 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling made it harder for older workers who’ve experienced proven age discrimination to prevail in court. The court said plaintiffs must meet a higher burden of proof for age discrimination than for other types of discrimination. In other words, the Supreme Court moved the law backward and sent a message to employers that some amount of proven discrimination is legally allowed.
4.  Most Americans age 50 and up — 8 in 10, according to AARP research — say they want to see Congress create stronger laws to prevent age discrimination at work.
5.  Most people believe age discrimination begins when workers hit their 50s, according to AARP research of workers between the ages of 45 and 74. Still, 22 percent believe it begins even earlier, when workers hit their 30s and 40s. And 17 percent say they think it begins in one’s 60s.
6.  There’s also a gender difference in the perception of age discrimination: While 72 percent of women between the ages of 45 and 74 said they think people face age discrimination at work, only 57 percent of men in the same age range said so.
7.  Among older workers surveyed by AARP, not getting hired is the most common type of age discrimination they experienced, with 19 percent of respondents citing it. An additional 12 percent say they missed out on a promotion because of age, and 8 percent say they were laid off or fired.
8.  You can take action. If you think you’ve been discriminated against, you can file a charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can also work with a lawyer to file a lawsuit. Before taking either of these steps, consider going through your company’s grievance system, if it has one. Know that filing a lawsuit can be expensive and there is no guarantee of victory. To help bolster your case, be sure to keep a careful record of all of the alleged discrimination.
9.  Last year, the EEOC received 20,857 charges of age discrimination. Age discrimination makes up more than 1 in 5 of the discrimination charges received by the EEOC.
10.  Contrary to stereotypes, workers age 50 and up are among the most engaged members of the workforce,according to an AARP study. Sixty-five percent of employees age 55 and up are “engaged,” compared to 58 to 60 percent of younger employees. They also offer employers lower turnover rates and greater levels of experience.

 

Source:  AARP:
Kimberly Palmer is an AARP writer for work and jobs. She is also the author of the personal finance books “Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family” and “The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life.”
 

Half of us will live to 100 that’s why senior workers need a gap year to plan for their retirement
HALF the Aussies born today will live to be 100. So it’s time to reassess how we live healthier and work smarter.
Sue Dunlevy

 

HALF the Aussies born today will live to be 100 and it is time to introduce a senior’s gap year where older workers take a year off work to consider their next 20 years says Aged Care minister Ken Wyatt.
Describing 70 as the new 40, Mr Wyatt is warning Australians they will have to prepare for a future in which they will be healthy enough to work or volunteer well into their eighties.
“More than six million of Australians now aged between 50 and 75 are facing an extended life expectancy,” he told the National Press Club in Canberra.
Researchers at the London Business School had calculated that children born today in the US, Canada, Italy or France had a 50 per cent chance of living to at least 104, and 107 if they came from Japan.
“These projections are the real deal. Therefore, we need to seriously refocus our attention on living better,” he said.

More than six million of Australians now aged between 50 and 75 are facing an extended life expectancy.
This new age could bring us fulfilment and freedom but it has to be managed by a gradual move to part time employment, changing careers, volunteer work or a combination of both.
Too many Australians who retired wished later they had stayed on at work and their employers often found it hard to find a replacement worker with their experience and knowledge, he said.
“For all of these reasons, I personally believe we should consider a “seniors gap year”, made available for employees, in the lead up to the traditional retirement age,” he said.
“Like teenagers have done for decades, as they plan their studies and career paths, this “gap year” could allow older people to map out their future, while maintaining job security,” he said.

 

The question they would consider during this year would be what they do for the next few decades? How will they continue to contribute and harness their knowledge and skills for the benefit of society and the economy?

“Just imagine if, when we reach 60 and we are thinking of retiring, and we are given the opportunity to take 12 months’ leave without pay and go and do the grey nomad travelling, do all the things you wanted to do on your bucket list for 12 months, and then you come back and you say to your employer, I’m back, I’m ready to start working again’ he said.
Mr Wyatt said his idea was not government policy but he spoke of how after he took a redundancy package in his fifties he decided he wanted to re-enter the workforce.
National seniors policy advocate Ian Henschke said it was important for people to consider if they were ready for retirement but “I’m not sure it requires an entire gap year”.
People should experiment with retirement by using their long service leave before they retire to see if they are ready to leave the workforce, he said.
“If you took six months long service leave at half pay that would be sufficient to understand whether playing golf six days a week or doing pottery and art classes was right for you rather than working, he said.
Scott Barklamb, Director of Workplace Relations at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said Australia needed creative ideas for a national discussion on retaining more Australians in work, as the Minister has provided today.
“Expanded options for flexibility seem the most productive area to look at, and we should better empower employers and their older employees to work out flexible arrangements that best meet their needs,” he said.
“Just as planning your retirement is important for individuals, succession planning is important for businesses. We would be wary of any provision that introduced greater uncertainty for business or made succession planning even more difficult,” he said.

The minister is also calling for major changes to the way we treat the aged many of whom are lonely and who live in aged care facilities where they receive no visitors at all.
He wants small houses grouped around a central kitchen and living room built to improve housing options for the aged.
“When I talk to people in Aged Care, I find so many who crave simple touch, a hug, the warmth of palms clasped together, or a soothing hand on their shoulder,’ he said.
It was distressing that 40 per cent of people in nursing homes did not receive a single visitor 365 days of the year, he said.

“Our elders should hold a special place in our society — they are not to be sent away or shunned, but remain fundamental to family groups and communities, as wisdom-givers,” Mr Wyatt said.
Older people should be valued for who they are, not just in terms of economics, but for what they have done and continue to do
Mr Wyatt on Wednesday announced a $2.8 million consultation to set out a plan for future investment for My Aged Care, this will be done in close consultation with consumers, service providers and community partners.
The government has recently embarked on a major expansion of home care services that provide help for the elderly in their own homes so they don’t need to move into aged care facilities.

Source:  News Corp Australia Network  October 25, 2017

AM By Brett Worthington

17/10/2017

Australia is at risk of a pension crisis unless employers stop their “discrimination” against older workers, advocates for regional Australia have warned.
The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has warned the Federal Government’s pension bill would rise from $45 billion to $51 billion within three years, unless efforts were made to help more mature workers gain employment, particularly in regional communities.
Chief executive Jack Archer said continued unemployment of people older than 55 would cut economic growth and put a greater strain on public resources.
“We hear that there is a lot of people who would like to work, who would love to stay in the workforce either part-time or full-time even though they’re in their late 50s, 60s and even into their 70s,” he said.
“But we’re not doing a very good job of giving them the training, giving them the incentives around the pension, and working with employers to stop the discrimination around employing older workers.”

Ageing demographic in regional areas
The RAI has today released a report that outlines the economic benefits of hiring older workers, which it said would help accelerate economic growth in regional communities.
These communities are ageing at faster rates than metropolitan areas.
Mr Archer said the ageing regional demographic was partly the result of people shifting away from cities when they retired.
He said Victor Harbour in South Australia, Port Macquarie-Hastings in NSW, and East Gippsland in Victoria all had at least 20 per cent of the population reliant on the aged pension.
“It basically means you’ve got a lot of talent on the bench, a lot of people who could be involved and contributing who are sitting around homes and wishing they were doing something else,” he said.
“The social benefits of [tackling] this [will be] enormous in these regions where the impact is severe now.”

 

Getting older people into work
The report calls for a variety of approaches to getting more older Australians into work.
“For regions with low participation rates like the Bass Coast in Victoria or the Lockyer Valley in Queensland, the focus will be to increase workforce engagement in general,” the report stated.
“For those with high participation rates but also a high incidence of part-time employment like Augusta-Margaret River WA and Busselton WA, the policy focus will need to be more targeted towards addressing underemployment.”

The report also suggested part-time work could not only keep older people employed for longer, but it could help lure others back into work.
“As Australians approach retirement age, the opportunity for more flexible working arrangements opens up new opportunities for older Australians who want to stay engaged in the workforce, but scale down at the same time,” the report stated.
“For many, the inability to scale down to a part-time role often means having to drop out of the workforce completely.”

No luck after 150 job applications
Wagga Wagga man Peter Sweeney took a voluntary redundancy from the public sector five years ago.
The 66-year-old said when he attempted to return to employment, he was unable to secure an interview, let alone a job.
“Not everybody is ready to lay down and die,” he said.
Mr Sweeney said he applied for at least 150 jobs before he gave up his hunt.
“I had strong analytical skills, excellent communication skills — written and verbal — and investigation skills,” he said.
“I would have said they would have all been very current. I was able to cope with the applications on the internet.
“There is no doubt in my mind that my age was the thing that kept coming up.

Mr Sweeney said he became involved in a men’s shed group, where he discovered other people had been through a similar experience.

He took his superannuation as a pension and was now entitled to receive a partial aged pension.
“People have told me that they don’t like putting older people on because they’re too set in their ways,” he said.
“Their skill levels are out of date, they can’t take instruction from younger people and they’re generally too tired.
“They want young people. They want people they can socialise with, whereas the oldies are interested in different things.
“The ones that do employ seniors do it for that reason — they don’t want to mess around with a lot of people who have got too busy social lives and can’t come to work on Monday.”

Economic benefit from employing older workers
Mr Archer said as the population aged the workforce shrank, and that risked future economic growth.
But he said that could be reversed provided employers embraced an older workforce.
“In some regions we can see an extra $30 to $40 million of annual consumption in the local area as a result of lifting participation of older workers by 2 or 3 per cent,” he said.
“That then flows on to other jobs in the community.
“What that tells us is if you get the right mix of incentives, you can really have a significant impact on local economies.
“[When] those people are earning [an income], their pension bills will either disappear or be much lower and the government will get a benefit from that.”

18th September 2017 at 16:20

Offering apprenticeships to older learners is ‘robbing kids of their future’, says Charlie Mullins, of Pimlico Plumbers
As someone who has campaigned for apprenticeships for my whole working life, I can’t get over our minister of state for apprenticeships and skills, Anne Milton, telling the House of Commons that they should be available to everybody “whatever their background and age”.
It has always been my view that apprenticeships are there to give our youngsters greater opportunities in life, but encouraging over-60s to take on apprenticeships is quite clearly robbing kids of their future.
I’m all for the older worker and I love having a mix of ages in the workplace. We can always learn from experience, but ultimately you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Encouraging over-60s to start the same course as teenagers is a step backwards. It is both impractical and insulting. If we start handing these precious opportunities out to over-60s, the meaning of “apprenticeship” will change entirely. Practically speaking, in my industry how are these senior trade apprentices going to learn all the tricks of the trade when they aren’t able to lug around heavy materials or stand all day on a site?
Those of us who have completed an apprenticeship with a lot of hard graft will know that they’re nothing like we see on TV. We’ve got to stop confusing the term “apprenticeship”. It’s yet another case of common sense being thrown out of the window.

I can honestly say that I will never take on an apprentice who isn’t young, ripe and ready. We need to save these opportunities for the kids of tomorrow, not waste them on the fogies.
I’ve said from day one that apprenticeships are the way we can reduce crime levels and help to solve the skills gap. Apprenticeships are for youngsters and as soon as we start giving them to older people, they won’t want to do it. Fact. It is our duty to preserve apprenticeships as being a trendy route through life.
‘Don’t waste apprenticeships on the fogies’
We have around 300 apprenticeship applications every month at Pimlico Plumbers, and we’ve got many who make a massive difference to the business. We’ve come a long way since apprenticeships were a second-rate option, and with university applications down this year I was starting to think we were making real progress. We can’t let this set us back and put youngsters off.
Don’t get me wrong, I started my career as an apprentice, and I owe my success to the fact that I was able to learn a trade in this way. I am a big believer in retraining and supporting older workers, but we’ve got to call it a “senior training scheme”, not an apprenticeship.

I’m not saying that older workers are past their sell-by date – far from it. They can bring real credibility to a business and are respected by both colleagues and customers, due to their experience. We’ve had many brilliant older workers in separate roles at Pimlico Plumbers over the years, including van washer Buster Martin, and my current PA Mario, who’s in his seventies. It should be a standard thing in businesses to have young, enthusiastic apprentices who are learning both traditional and new ways of working and older, equally enthusiastic workers who are happy to share their experience and have their ears bent by younger colleagues.
I’m a proud supporter of protecting apprenticeships and getting youngsters motivated to learn and work. In fact, I believe the term “apprentice” is so vitally important to young people today that it should be trademarked, and only used in the proper way. We can’t let it be thrown around and run the risk of putting youngsters off what is a genuine, financially rewarding career option.

I’ve reached out to Anne Milton for a meeting and I’m pleased to say we’ll be looking to get a date in the diary soon. She’s got a lot on her plate, with being committed to reaching 3 million new apprenticeship starts in England by 2020 – but these need to be, what I call, “true apprentices” taking on these apprenticeships. Anne does some great work with encouraging women on the tools too, but I really think I can offer her some insight on apprenticeships, seeing as it is at the core of my business.
Yes, let’s champion retraining older workers and train them on senior training schemes, but we can’t run the risk of putting teenagers off apprenticeships because we’ve let the over-60s join their course.

Charlie Mullins is managing director and founder of Pimlico Plumbers

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