ON­LINE SER­VICE CON­NECTS OLDER WORK­ERS TO JOBS

NZ Business - - BRIEFCASE -

A NEW ON­LINE SER­VICE aims to help peo­ple over the age of 55 find work op­por­tu­ni­ties as well as help em­ploy­ers ben­e­fit from this grow­ing pool of tal­ent. Wise Ones is an on­line plat­form aimed at sup­port­ing peo­ple to work for as long as they want. The num­ber of 55-year-olds and over in­volved in New Zealand’s labour force is ex­pected to grow from 485,600 peo­ple in 2011 to 823,400 in 2036, a 70 per­cent in­crease (source: Sta­tis­tics NZ).

Ac­cord­ing to the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion, 88 per­cent of peo­ple plan to work past re­tire­ment, for pro­fes­sional, so­cial and fi­nan­cial rea­sons. How­ever, a 2016 study car­ried out as part of the Re­tire­ment Com­mis­sioner’s re­view of re­tire­ment in­come poli­cies showed more than two-thirds of busi­nesses be­lieve there’s a short­age of highly skilled work­ers in their sec­tor and 70 per­cent were wor­ried they would lose ex­pe­ri­ence and skill when peo­ple re­tired.

De­spite this, ageism is also an is­sue, with 40 per­cent of work­ers hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced age-re­lated dis­crim­i­na­tion over the past five years.

Kate Ross, founder of Wise Ones says we can’t ig­nore de­mo­graph­ics, chang­ing ideas about re­tire­ment, and the fact many peo­ple over 55 strug­gle to find work.

“Many peo­ple want or need to work for longer than in the past and em­ploy­ers have never be­fore had to deal with large num­bers of older work­ers.

“The new ser­vice pro­vides an on­line ex­change be­tween peo­ple over 55 years who want to keep work­ing and em­ploy­ers who need them, and will ben­e­fit in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies, busi­nesses and other or­gan­i­sa­tions, and the econ­omy as a whole,” says Ross.

Un­til now there’s been a lack of an easy to use con­nec­tion be­tween this group and em­ploy­ers. The Re­tire­ment Com­mis­sion sur­vey showed 83 per­cent had no poli­cies or strate­gies in place for work­ers over the age of 50.

“We’ve all heard sto­ries about peo­ple los­ing a job late in their ca­reer and strug­gling to find an­other be­cause the only op­tion they have is to use their per­sonal net­works, gen­eral re­cruit­ment web­sites and me­dia. These peo­ple don’t want to be in­vis­i­ble, and it’s frus­trat­ing be­cause they have so much to of­fer. What they need is a tool that’s on­line, fo­cused on their age bracket, avail­able on any de­vice and easy to use,” Ross says.

Wise Ones is also a cost ef­fec­tive way to find roles – for just $5 a month peo­ple can be part of a com­mu­nity of peo­ple who make up over a quar­ter of New Zealand’s pop­u­la­tion.

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