The mature age unemployment gap

| August 12, 2020

We are heading into a perfect storm for the mature age workers of our society, consisting of the triple whammy of ageism, coronavirus and poor preparation, according to Hunter Leonard from Silver & Wise.

For some time now, the Australian Government and major organisations like The Benevolent Society have been worried about ageism.

In my business, we’ve made contributing to an end to ageism a central core of our long term mission.

But that is not what keeps me awake at night.

It is something I refer to as THE GAP. But what do I mean?

Well, the mandatory retirement age is being raised – in increments – to 67 in 2023. That raising of age is unlikely to stop there. The reason it is being raised is the Federal Government realises with an ageing society and a reducing number of tax payers, that they won’t be able to afford to pay the pension for what is an increasingly long post work life expectancy.

On the other side of this gap, we have organisations and recruitment companies conspiring to lock mature age workers out of the workforce with age related discrimination.

A terrifying number of companies have set an age above which they are reluctant to hire. And the point at which this ageism commences is just 50 years old.

This means we have companies not wanting to employ after 50, and a government saying our retirement age is 67. That is a 17 year age gap that in my opinion, no one is looking closely enough at.

You don’t have to look too far to find a mature person who will recount a situation where they send hundreds of resumes and job applications, and don’t even get one interview.

In fact, one specific circumstance involved a senior HR industry figure testing his hypothesis about ageism by sending a large number of resumes out – half with his real age, and half with no age mentioned.

On one side, he got lots of interviews, on the other – ZERO. I’ll leave you to guess which way the dice fell.

This mature age employment gap worries me. And it is going to take a herculean effort from government, organisations, recruitment leaders and the mature workers themselves to break down the conditions leading to this perfect storm.

To make matters worse, we have a break down of the traditional company-employee relationship with the rise of the so called Gig Economy. Mature workers in the future are more likely to be self employed and ‘renting’ out their talent to multiple clients than they are to ‘own’ a job.

And for this reason, I’ve committed to build an organisation that is entirely focussed on helping mature age individuals create a plan for the future and or start their own business.

I’ve also written two best selling books to contribute to the discussion. 

My question to you is – What are you going to do about it?


How does your business support mature workers?

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