WORK­OUT Over-50s pes­simistic

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Careerone -

IT seems as if 50 is the cut-off age af­ter which peo­ple stop be­liev­ing in their abil­ity to switch jobs. About 73 per cent in a sur­vey of 2000 peo­ple, con­ducted by, feel get­ting a new job would be im­pos­si­ble af­ter the age of 50. Those in the 41-55 age group hold a bleaker per­spec­tive: about 82 per cent in this age group be­lieve they can’t find an­other job af­ter the mag­i­cal cut-off year.

‘‘ Con­sid­er­ing that eco­nomic growth for Aus­tralia is greatly de­pen­dent on ma­ture age work­ers stay­ing in the work­force for as long as pos­si­ble, th­ese sta­tis­tics are stag­ger­ing,’’ says chief ex­ec­u­tive Camp­bell Sal­la­bank.

‘‘ Work­ers in the ma­ture age group cur­rently make up one-third of Aus­tralian work­ers com­pared with one quar­ter two decades ago, and have a lower un­em­ploy­ment rate than the com­bined work­force,’’ he says. ‘‘ The in­creased up­take of ter­tiary study and gap years mean that peo­ple are en­ter­ing the work­force later. Com­bine this with the gen­eral age­ing of our pop­u­la­tion and Aus­tralia will see an in­evitable in­crease in ma­ture work­ers in the fu­ture. Even over the past two decades the av­er­age age of the Aus­tralian worker has moved from 35 years to 39 years.

‘‘ I can see how a grim per­cep­tion of be­ing un­em­ploy­able at this age might come about. Ma­ture work­ers of­ten have skills and ex­pe­ri­ence gained through many years in the work­force and there­fore are gen­er­ally seek­ing higher end jobs — which tend to be harder to find,’’ says Sal­la­bank.

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