Businesses not prepared for ageing workforce - survey

  • 21/06/2016
Businesses not prepared for ageing workforce - survey

Despite warnings of an ageing population, most businesses are doing little to prepare for the shift in the workforce.

Research by the Commission for Financial Capability found 83 percent of businesses have no strategies in place for workers more than 50 years old.

But it's something they need to be prepared for. More than one in five people over 65 are still working, and it's expected to rise to one in three over the next 15 years.

The Commission's Group Manager of Investor Education David Boyle says it's important businesses look ahead.

"[There needs to be] a bit of work before the fall off of the cliff, rather than the ambulance at the bottom," he says.

"So I think preparation, planning, and looking at best practices around other countries that have got further around the curve of an ageing population."

According to the survey, more than two thirds of the businesses interviewed agree there's a shortage of highly experienced workers in their industry.

Mr Boyle says as the population ages, businesses need to acknowledge the growing trend, and the experience that comes from age is invaluable.

"As younger workers come into different roles, [the older workers] are there to act as a trainer-mentor to pass on their skills and knowledge, which seems to be a really good win-win situation for all involved."

Older workers can often feel overlooked in favour of younger workers, and Mr Boyle says that's something that needs to change.

"As we live longer and the age of our workforce increases it's clear that employers need to consider how they manage -- and benefit from -- their older employees," he says.

As part of the survey, 500 businesses across the country were interviewed from a range of industries.