Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Ageist attitudes ignoring a $2bn opportunity

10th June 2019

Ageist attitudes ignoring a $2bn opportunity

A specialist recruiter for people over 45 years old is calling for urgent action from all private and public organisations to ditch ageist attitudes and benefit from experience and knowledge.

The call comes at the same time TVNZ’s What Next? series explores whether advances in medicine could make living to one hundred and thirty years a reality, meaning the need to work a lot longer.

It also follows the latest Diversity Works survey showing a worrying indication that ageing is becoming less of a concern to organisations.

Founder of Wise Ones, Kate Ross, says her organisation comes across hundreds of people who have been at the wrong end of ageism, can’t find work and save properly to support their retirement.

“This is a scourge on New Zealand as people become victims to a whole host of excuses by employers who are just wriggling out of employing anyone who is in their final 20 years of work.

“This is blatant discrimination against a growing section of our population who are the most experienced we have, at a time when we are facing a skills shortage.

“Ageism is an economic and social issue affecting all of New Zealand and needs to rise up the business agenda.”

Statistics point to this being an economic opportunity lost, based on StatsNZ figures showing around 140,000 people over the age of 45 being 25% underutilised, equivalent to 10 hours a week, at an average pay of $32 an hour. Using this section of the population fully would unleash around $2.3bn to the spending economy, $760m in tax revenue and help thousands live a better life.

Kate Ross, went on to say NZ should disrupt the status quo by being age proud and openly age inclusive.

“By not talking about age we are shooting ourselves in the foot - age is the growing elephant in the room no-one is discussing.

“Employers need to be more vocal about people over the age of 45 and employees need to feel comfortable talking about their age. Our population is ageing - there’s no getting over this. So if we don’t change our attitude to being older and working, we are just missing out. We could lead the world in changing this attitude.”

There are organisations who are very open to employing older people and there is industry discussion following the “Act Now, Age Later” report from the EMA and Commission for Financial Capability, but more action is needed.

The report talks about a perfect storm combining an “ageing population, a low birth rate, a labour shortage, a skills deficit and the changing nature of work” meaning the need “to tackle this issue now.”

Having a comfortable retirement will cost a couple just over $1,000 a week when super covers $600 of this and life expectancy has increased to 86 for men and 89 for women. Retirement is a growing bill for which people need to save and prepare, and they need to work for longer to do this.

“I know of some recruiters who won’t look at candidates if there’s a whiff of them being over 50, which is just nuts. Why would anyone disregard all this expertise?,” Ross says.

The 2019 series of What Next? follows the previous series two years ago that asked Kiwis what they wanted New Zealand to be like in twenty years’ time regarding technology, the economy, the environment and the way we live.

This year’s four part documentary looks at these ideas in action, and meets Kiwis with radical ideas showing the path to future-proof New Zealand. Kate Ross was interviewed for the What Next? episode to be aired on 11th June 2019, and will also be part of the live Facebook panel discussion after the programme.



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


"Clumsy Response To A Serious Issue": Treasury Head Was "Unreasonable" On Budget Breach

Outgoing Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf was "clumsy", unreasonable and fell "well short" of expectations in his handling of the Budget data breach, a government report has found.

The State Services Commission report was ordered in the fallout of Mr Makhlouf claiming Treasury's website had been "deliberately and systematically hacked" and referring the matter to police...

The Commission's report - released today - said Mr Makhlouf did not act reasonably in his use of the word "hacked" or his subsequent explanations to media. More>>


Principals Reject Offer: Primary Teachers Vote For Settlement

Primary teachers have voted to ratify a proposed settlement that will give them pay parity with their secondary colleagues, but disappointed primary principals have rejected a settlement that was unchanged from a previously rejected offer. More>>


Pike River: Weeks Of Work Before Team Gets Beyond 170 Metres

No items of interest have been found in the latest forensic search of the tunnel between 30 and 170 metres, however, both the police and the Pike River Recovery Agency say it has been useful. More>>


Remaking Elections: Call For Four-Year Term, More MPs

A Victoria University report is proposing extending the parliamentary term to four years, and increasing the number of MPs, so politicians can plan better for the future. More>>


Health: Ban On Smoking In Cars With Children Passes First Reading

The Smoke-free Environments Amendment Bill would allow police to issue $50 fines for those smoking with passengers under 18 years of age. More>>


Fair Pay Agreements Good: CTU Releases Report On Sector Bargaining

The Council of Trade Unions has released an independent report conducted by economic research company BERL into the validity of sector bargaining. More>>


Goldsmith New National Finance Spokesperson: Amy Adams To Leave Politics In 2020

Amy Adams has announced she will retire from politics at the 2020 election and as a consequence of that decision she has chosen to stand down from the spokesperson roles she holds in the Party. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Government's Cosmetic Banking Reforms

The elephant in the room as the government carries out its latest bout of tinkerings with our banking practice is the extraordinary level of profit-taking still being extracted by the Australian Banking Gang from ordinary New Zealanders. Yes indeed, ... More>>


IPCA: Offensive Language, Misuse Of Pepper Spray

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that, following a pursuit in Auckland, a man was dealt with inappropriately and unprofessionally by a Police officer during his arrest. More>>





InfoPages News Channels