Magazine article New Zealand Management

Age at Work: The Need to Plan

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Age at Work: The Need to Plan

Article excerpt

New Zealand businesses will increasingly depend on an older workforce and need to plan for that, according to a report released at last month's Age Advantage Forum in Christchurch.

"Our success or failure in maximising the potential of older workers will have a national economic impact," says Judith Davey, associate professor of social policy and director of the NZ Institute for Research on Aging at Victoria University, who co-authored the report with research associate, Justine Cornwall.

She says the impact will hit individual businesses and employers "need to be prepared for the effects of population aging on their workforce and on their customer base".

"This means appreciating the benefits of a mixed age workforce and building on the strengths of young and older workers where experience and creativity, stability and technical competence are all valued."

Davey says labour and skills shortages are already emerging, and, if nothing changes, such shortages will increase as the baby boom generation enters retirement and the numbers of new workforce entrants reduces.

"The challenge is to match the capacities of older workers with opportunities for them to be economically active. …

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