COTA Australia ‘Older people and work: Stop the intergenerational wars and start improving systems for Australians of all ages’
Australia needs to harness the benefits of older people remaining in the workforce, but those discussions need to be focused on the benefit for older people, the economy and people of all ages rather than be set up to pit one generation against the other, COTA Australia says.
Patricia Sparrow, Chief Executive Officer of COTA Australia, the leading advocacy organisation for older Australians says, “It’s critical government and businesses don’t fall into the trap of framing the challenges, including employment challenges, as intergenerational disputes but rather an opportunity to address ageism in Australia and look at systems changes that benefit all generations.”
In many cases, systemic ageism forces people out of the workforce and into retirement earlier than they want, which isn’t just bad for older workers but is bad for every generation. There are huge personal benefits to being able to work as well as benefits to the economy that way, if older people choose to work longer. Government and business must make training to tackle the systemic ageism in workplaces an immediate priority, starting with those involved in the recruitment process.
“Ageism is a key factor. We know that one in three recruiters say they won’t hire an older person. When they are employed, both older and younger people report not feeling like their team leaders know how to manage people at either end of the age spectrum,” Ms Sparrow said.
“Ms Sparrow said looking at issues in silos also does everyone a disservice. Older people make a huge contribution to society in a myriad of ways, whether it’s through childcare support, volunteering, or countless other means.”
“We’re an ageing and population, which is fantastic because we’re living longer and healthier. That also obviously comes with its challenges, but framing those challenges as intergenerational disputes is simplistic, naive and doesn’t do anyone any favours,” Ms Sparrow said.
Media contact: Tamara Kotoyan, 0430 291 890 or Alana Mew, 0419 929 722.
To read the full Statement
T: 02 6154 9740
For More Information
Contact Chris Jeffery, Chief Policy Officer COTA (WA)
T: 08 9472 0104