Looking for a job? Older workers do better in New Zealand 28



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If you’re looking for work and are finding Australia’s job market tough, you might want to head over to New Zealand, which has just been ranked second in the world in the Golden Age Index, which measures employment of older workers across 34 OECD countries.

Iceland tops the table, followed by New Zealand , Sweden, Israel and Norway, US, Korea, Japan and Estonia make up the remaining top 10 positions.

Australia is ranked 15th, which is an improvement, but still lags way behind our neighbours.  And consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers says this means Australis is missing out on billions of dollars as a result.

According to PwC, if the UK, as an example, had the same employment rate for workers aged between 55 and 69 years as Sweden, the UK’s GDP would be boosted by around £100 billion.

The Abbott government has been working towards increasing employment of older Australians, but the report shows there is plenty more to be done.

“If Australia could match New Zealand’s mature age employment rate, Australia could generate an annual average increase of $24 billion in nominal GDP,” PwC’s global people business leader Jon Williams said, as reported by The Australian.

He said it was a myth that employing more mature staff would block the path for younger workers, but we still have to change attitudes of bias against older workers.

Mr Williams praised the appointment of Age and Disability Commissioner Susan Ryan as the first ambassador for mature age employment as a “great step forward”.

  • The index suggests governments could consider the following measures:
  • further reforms of state pension systems to encourage later retirement;
  • creating greater financial incentives for older workers to remain in, or re-enter, the labour force;
  • introducing new training initiatives to improve the employability of older workers;
  • remove barriers to continued employment and encourage recruitment of older workers; and
  • specifically boost employment rates for older women, which tend to be lower than those for men.

The report authors recommend employers rethink their approaches to hiring and training older workers, and audit their businesses to understand better the age profile of employees.

Tell us, do you think older workers are becoming more valued in your country – or less? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Unemployment is very high at the moment, even younger people struggle to get jobs. Older people in Australia have little or no chance, it is a shame.

    1 REPLY
  2. Older people can’t get work if there are no jobs

    1 REPLY
    • I show older people how to get an extra pay cheque every month. Online information Sessions at 8.30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Also on demand from Wednesday. PM me if interested

  3. During the fight for equal employment opportunities for women I felt strongly that a nation cannot progress if it ignores 50% of its human resources. In a similar vein, it is negligent to discount the wealth of experience, skills and knowledge that older workers contribute to the workforce.

  4. I am still working although on a part time basis. I also live in NZ. A lot of our younger people are working overseas so we are not taking work from younger people. It is a shame that the years of work experience is lost because you are regarded as too old. I have worked in the computer field for 30 years, and I am still keeping up with it.

  5. I retired at 66, got bored and applied for a job in admin which I was lucky enough to get. Still working 3 days a week @ 70, the money is more than useful and it keeps the brain working. I live in Australia.

  6. Older workers are not valued and experience is not seen as relevant. Thirty somethings are the least flexible. If older people want work they need to start a business or work for people their own age.

  7. Ok. So we send all the Kiwis back to NZ and that will open up more jobs for Australians, especially in the Bondi area! LOL!

  8. Remember Joe Hockey said recently that it is not unreasonable to think that Australians could start new careers in their SEVENTIES? (Followed by derisive laughter). For this to happen there must be jobs available for these septuagenarians!

    5 REPLY
    • Well said. I agree. I’d like to see him get a job and work when he is over 70. Just too tiring!

    • For your information there are many people who still work in the 70’s through choice . They tried retirement and didn’t like it . Not everyone wants to live a lazy life . So if working in your seventies is so bad why do some choose to do it , we are living much longer these days , it’s company for some and more financial freedom for others , not all seniors have a big super to live off.

    • Carolyn Brown “For your information” ? I’m not looking for a fight and I am aware that many over 70s work by choice!
      Two points here: 1) It is ok if you want to, but not because Hockey says you must.
      2) For those who have health issues, arthritis or other limited movement, it would be very difficult to continue working, but if you can, then go for it!

    • mike here-agreed Carolyn, people can work later, if they want but wanting too is the point. It depends on a lot of factors, I for instance worked my life as a heavy plant operator, a useful occupation but nobody will employ a 66 year old worn out plant operator with a repaired heart.

  9. If you send all the kiwis back Wendy France then NZ could send all the Aussies in NZ back which wouldn’t make much difference.

  10. Lots of things are better in NZ at the moment. Lots of Kiwis are going home. Says a lot for our “government”, NOT.

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