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Mature Age Workers Key To Skills Shortage

March 17 2008 - While the hospitality and travel sectors are continuing to experience difficulties in recruiting skilled staff, the solution may lie with mature-age workers - the over 50's - according to TMS Asia-Pacific.

Ainslie Hunt, TMS General Manager Australia/New Zealand, said that the 'baby boomer' generation represents one of the best available sources of candidates for years to come.

While recruitment professionals have put huge effort into understanding the Gen Y factor and how to best attract and retain younger employees, businesses should also to address the upper end of the age scale, especially the over 50s.

She cited recent research by global business consultancy Mercer which showed that Australian workers aged 55 and over will increase by 14% over the next four years. This contrasts sharply with an increase of only 5% in the 25-54 year range over the same period.

"The Boomers represent one of the best sources of available candidates for years to come," Ainslie Hunt said.

"It really is time for organisations to start becoming more flexible in their approach and look beyond candidates starting out in their careers as the only source of potential talent," she said.

"Overall the travel and hospitality industry still leans heavily towards recruiting younger staff.

"But some employers are in fact beginning to see the light and had begun actively seeking to recruit older employees.

"There remain a good deal of negative perceptions when it comes to older workers.

"People often think that older workers cant operate basic office machinery such as computers and are slow on the uptake when it comes to learning new systems which is complete nonsense.

"In reality, the over 50s are as keen as mustard to get on with the job, in many cases they offer more experience than their younger colleagues and they are always ready to learn a new skill."

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