Working Better with Age
Working Better with Age
Working Better with Age: Research on Barriers and Opportunities to Workforce Participation for Older Workers in Newfoundland and Labrador
In the Fall of 2021, we told you about Working Better with Age, a research project led by the St. John’s Board of Trade and funded by the Newfoundland Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC). The purpose of the Project was to look at barriers and opportunities faced by older workers 55+ who are actively seeking to gain or maintain employment.
The project was the result of recommendations coming out of The Way Forward on Workforce Development, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s five-year action plan to strengthen the province’s workforce and help offset labor shortages. That research is now complete, and the final report was presented to stakeholders from NLWIC, provincial government, and community on March 15, 2022.
Topline results of that research reveal that, although there are several barriers to workers 55+ attaching to the workforce, there are also many opportunities to encourage, empower, and employ older works in sectors and industries throughout the province. Identifying these opportunities was a priority in this project.
It is estimated that approximately 43,000 persons over the age of 55 would seek employment in this province under the right circumstances. Today, we know that the top five barriers to engaging older workers in the labour force include:
- Lack of education and training (mostly around technology),
- Recruitment practices and policies geared primarily toward hiring younger workers,
- Disincentives or lack of incentives (within Canadian retirement system) to continue to work past retirement age, and
- How older workers view workplace accommodation and work life balance.
Our research revealed that if we tackle ageism in the workplace, include age as part of a diversity, inclusion, and equity philosophy, offer age-friendly training opportunities to employees and new recruits, and if we incorporate age as part of diversity best practices in our retention and recruitment strategies, we could successfully attract and retain older workers, and strengthen the workforce in this province as a result.
We encourage you to read the full report for further insight from our research and its findings. Insight into how gender disparity affects older workers when seeking to maintain or retain employment. How ageism not only affects older workers in the workplace, but how it also affects employers and their ability to create diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environments. We also offer up ideas on how to bring older workers and employers together through workshops and other initiatives.