Survey says over 60’s are least important in workplace

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A survey carried out by Dr Lynda Shaw has revealed that 66% of people believe that age alone could be a barrier for getting a job, suggesting that negative opinions surrounding age still exist in the workplace.

The study, conducted to discover more about people’s attitudes to ageing in the workplace, found that 46% of respondents feel the over 60s are the least important age group in the work environment, while 27% voted those in their 40s as the most important.

In regards to why employing people over 60 would be considered an issue by so many, 61% claimed that the biggest downside was that they would be slower to learn new skills, while over half felt that people over 60 would be more adverse to operational changes.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Shaw, said:

“Over 60s are bursting with knowledge and experience. This needs to be embraced, enhanced and utilised.

“Businesses can really benefit from an age diverse workplace, mixing the new ideas and knowledge of younger workers with the experience and expertise of older workers.

“Older employees might be slower to learn, but they are incredibly eager to try new things and develop. If employees spent some training time older as well as younger cohorts, they would reap a greater return for their investment.”

The survey also showed that 69% of respondents felt that the biggest asset employees over the age of 60 would bring would be their work ethic, with 65% saying that employees from the older age group would work harder than people in their 30s.

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7 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. As as employee over 60 I object to those who think us slow
    I do not take time off for children, days off thru “sickness” or object to putting my should to the wheel as some younger people do. Nether am I a “jobsworth”. Those of us with grey matter who have worked for over 40 years know our worth it is pity other people dont.

  2. What a load of rubbish – to tar all over -60’s as dinosaurs, set in their ways, slow to learn and resistant to change is the kind of sweeping statement which I thought discrimination laws were supposed to have eradicated.
    As a 65 year old still working in local government and running a team of younger professionals in times of austerity, I find myself championing the need for change and fresh thinking – leading my colleagues through very difficult times and using my years of experience around the world to settle their fears for the future

  3. Perhaps many older older members of the workforce are more resistant to some changes because they have seen them before, know what the outcomes will be and have seen too many past mistakes. If younger team members and managers utilised the experience of older workers, they might not make so many changes for changes sake and might make more of a positive impact on their own careers.

  4. I undertook an MSc in Human Resource Management after being moved from Finance and achieved this at the age of sixty I now contribute to up to date strategic management of HR issues. It is time this type of discrimination ceased to exist as most of us will still be working past the age of 65.

  5. Interesting!

    My Chairman is over 70 and I (His General Manager) am over 60. We are currently developing 4 start-up companies. Despite our decrepitude, we manage to come up with new concepts and provide the leadership to ensure delivery. Age, unless you are being treated by the NHS, is irrelevant; what you can deliver, irrespective of age, is what counts.

    Robert

  6. At least most of those over 60 would know that they were ‘averse’ to some things not ‘adverse’. But in my experience the over-60s are no more averse to change than younger staff, though they may be a bit more cynical (they’ve been there before) as the wheel turns again and a former method, organisation etc comes back into fashion. And, Robert, the NHS is under a legal obligation not to use age as a criteria (other than in a clinical judgement) and in the mental health trust for which I work the ‘Older Persons’ service is rapidly being dismantled.

  7. QUOTE: “Older employees might be slower to learn”, – Slower to learn what? Anyway, the working life isn’t all about learning ‘new’ skills. Experience has a huge part to play and how on earth can younger workers apply 60+ years of experience until they become that age whereas 60+ workers can and do learn new skills in a lot less time. At 60 I have just recently qualified for a completely new career and rather than have my foot in just one camp, I now have my foot in two. There is no problem with the over 60’s and their potential, just with those (of all ages) who make ill informed comments and / or have negative outlooks. Rant over!!

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