According to bosses at Queensland’s Gladstone Power Station (GPS) if you’re aged over 55 years, keeping you working would negatively impact upon productivity because you’d be too old to meet the “challenging changes”. This is ridiculous, depressing and somewhat offensive!
However, while Starts at 60 cannot comment on how justified GPS is in making such a decision, it does raise the issue of age discrimination towards older workers.
The Productivity Commission’s report on ageing in Australia clearly identifies we are living longer. You still have at least another 30 years in front of you by the time you hit 60.
The same report has also placed increasing the age at which you are entitled to receive the pension on the agenda, proposing lifting it from 67 years to 70 years, by saying it would boost your participation in the workforce by up to 10 per cent.
But at your stage of life you’d have to ask yourself: ‘What’s point of making people like me work longer if there are no jobs available?’
It appears that the good old cliches about older workers are still getting a run, which is disturbing — especially in the GPS example where your ability to cope through change is the biggest issue. Are you not a demographic that has endured a lot of ‘change’ in your lifetime already?
What employers perhaps aren’t considering is the great benefits of having more mature-minded employees on their staff. Consider your skills, your level of output, your ability to remain loyal (gone are the days of staying in a job for 20+ years), the knowledge transfer you have, and your ability to lead. To say you have nothing to give after age 55 is outrageous.