Older workers and work: Societal and personal sentiments

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Conference Proceeding
AVETRA 13th Annual Conference: VET Research: Leading and responding in turbulent times, 2010, pp. 1 - 10
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This conference paper examines the perceptions of a group of employees aged 45 or more about their experiences of age discrimination in the work place. Retaining older workers is one way in which a productive work force can be maintained. However, a review of the literature reveals consistently negative attitudes by employers towards older workers, who are viewed as resistant to change, less productive, difficult to train and less motivated. This paper draws upon a survey of, and interviews with, Australian mature age workers. The topics covered included work life issues; work and work-related learning; intentions for their remaining working life; and the extent of age-related discrimination in their work places. The authors conclude from the survey data that; (1) mature age workers do not feel they are regarded as less capable than younger workers; (2) younger workers are the first to be offered training opportunities but this was not really a problem for the older workers; (3) while some older workers were concerned about technology, most did not subscribe to negative stereotypes of older workers; and (4) over three quarters of survey participants felt supported by their employers and did not believe there was ageism in their workplace.
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