ONLINE SERVICE CONNECTS OLDER WORKERS TO JOBS
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.