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

PM In US: Christchurch Call Leaders’ Dialogue

In only four short months we have – collectively – made real strides toward both preventing and responding to the very real harm caused by terrorist and violent extremist content online.

I know colleagues will speak to the details of this announcement, so I will only note that the plan for a reshaped Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (the GIFCT) is a substantial, meaningful commitment by industry.

This has been developed in conversation with partner governments and civil society, in the spirit of collaboration of the Christchurch Call. More>>


Minister's Speech: Arms Legislation Bill, First Reading

Mr Speaker, the terror attacks at the mosques are not the first mass shooting this country has endured. Successive governments have known since the Thorp review of 1997 that our gun laws were too weak... More>>


Abuse In Care Royal Commission: Minister's Confidence 'Has Been Shaken'

Internal Affairs Minister Tracy Martin has refused to express confidence in the leadership of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, after it was revealed a convicted child sex offender was involved. More>>


'Equity Index': School Deciles Gone In Two Years

School deciles will be replaced in 2021 or 2022 by an Equity Index that better aligns equity funding to actual levels of socio-economic disadvantage in our schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The RWC, And The Op Burnham Inquiry

Last week’s cross-examination of the military’s former top brass demonstrated in detail that the NZDF had consistently misled its Ministers (and the wider public) for years, over the impact of our military activities in Afghanistan. More>>

Call For Action On Expert Panel Report: Welfare System Needs Urgent Change

If we want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, the Government needs to increase benefits, remove sanctions, individualise benefits, and fix abatement rates now, says Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation . More>>


First Data Releases: Mixed External Report On Census Fail Mitigation

The panel endorses the statistical approaches used to mitigate non-response... However, the unprecedented use of alternative government datasets to augment census data raises questions around ethics, social licence, cultural licence, and Māori data sovereignty. More>>


Aitches: Manawatū-Whanganui Region Spelling Corrected

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region will in future be correctly spelt Manawatū-Whanganui Region. The change also means the regional council will be known as the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council. Horizons Regional Council is the trading name for the council. More>>

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>





InfoPages News Channels