The value of older workers

The Value of Older Workers
Greg Goudie
Written by Greg Goudie

Employers often hold negative stereotypes about mature-age workers. They are often seen as lacking flexibility, resistant to change and training.

Many surveys have found that this is not the case and in fact mature age employees are constantly looking for new opportunities and are willing to learn new technology if they are given the chance.

A recent DOME survey of over 600 mature age jobseekers recorded that over 60% wanted training to allow them to change careers and over 30% felt that they needed specialist career advice.

The trouble is that this negative opinion by management about their older staff tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy because when the employee is not given opportunity to learn & progress with more responsibility they become bored & disenchanted with their job. They believe the employer is not interested in them or their future and they withdraw and sometimes quit the job altogether.

The mature age worker has many strengths and benefits that are useful and too often overlooked by employers. Here are just a few:

  • They are interested in training and will use it to build on their already great wealth of experience.
  • They are often flexible in regard to their working conditions and working hours.
  • Statistical research shows that the mature age, tend to take less sick days than younger workers.
  • Older workers can relate to the requirements of older customers and have the experience to understand the attitudes of the younger person. Which is not the case in the reverse situation as the younger person hasn’t “experienced” mature age.
  • Older workers have often developed an attitude of loyalty towards their employers.
  • The goal of older workers is not necessarily to retire, many are very keen to continue working even if only on a part time basis.

DOME’s services range from assisting the mature age unemployed through job search training and support, to providing advice and support to employers in how to retain their current staff or recruit new staff.


About the author

Greg Goudie

Greg Goudie

Greg Goudie is the Executive Director of DOME and following many years in the automotive parts manufacturing sector, has worked with mature age unemployed for the past 15 years.

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