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Young and old struggle to find suitable work

Hard work getting a job: young and old struggle to find suitable work

Almost three quarters of younger workers forced to take jobs below their education level

Auckland, 27 June 2013: The latest Randstad Workmonitor shows both young and mature age workers continue to face an uphill battle finding a job, with 86% of New Zealanders saying it’s hard for older workers to find a suitable job and 80% forced to take a job below their education level.

Just under two thirds (65%) of Kiwis surveyed say it’s difficult for workers aged under 25 to find a job. Nearly three quarters (73%) of New Zealanders also believe those new to the workforce are often forced to take jobs below their education level.

The Randstad Workmonitor, commissioned by recruitment & HR services specialists, Randstad, surveys over 13,000 people across 32 countries each quarter, also shows that education alone may not be enough to land many younger people their first job, with 77% of New Zealanders saying experience is a more important factor in hiring Gen Y employees than education.

And in a worrying sign for the local job market, New Zealand’s younger workforce is increasingly willing to look elsewhere for employment opportunities; with 42% saying they would look overseas for a suitable job if one wasn’t available in New Zealand. This figure is relatively on par with other surveyed nations, with 43% of young employees in the USA and Germany, 42% of Dutch employees and 32% of those in Switzerland considering roles overseas.

Paul Robinson, Randstad’s New Zealand Director, says it’s important for New Zealand to remain a viable option for employees of all ages.

“The recent data has shown some worrying trends for New Zealand employers. Ensuring New Zealand remains an attractive option for the best young and mature aged talent is going to be of paramount importance for employers.

“Investing in young talent, and embracing knowledgeable mature age workers, should be a core focus for employers. Those businesses that fail to do so may find themselves losing skilled staff which may hinder the future growth of their business.

“Having a blended workforce which combines younger employees with more experienced and knowledgeable talent puts an organisation in a strong position and allows that business to benefit from a range of experiences and ideas.

“We’re entering an interesting phase, whereby there will be four generations in the workforce at one time and it is important for companies to ensure they are attractive to a range of age groups through a diverse recruitment strategy.”

Many Kiwis see the benefits of hiring a diverse range of age groups, with 57% saying the active hiring of workers over the age of 55 would benefit their business, while 69% see the value in actively hiring younger employees.

Paul Robinson says the youth unemployment rate is concerning, and is still far higher than the global average and almost three times more than the national rate. This shows that organisations could be doing more to promote diverse hiring strategies.

“While there are opportunities available for businesses willing to invest in training workers that are new to the workforce, organisations need to remain focussed on motivating people across all age brackets.

“Retaining younger staff requires employers to recognise and meet their needs by offering strong career development opportunities and training and development programs. For mature age workers, being offered flexible working arrangements could be an effective way to attract or retain their skills in the business,” says Robinson.


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