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Retaining the ageing workforce for their expertise

Motivate older workers not to retire

Mature age workers are typically the most experienced and reliable employees.  When they leave a business, their knowledge, experience and technical expertise leave with them, so retaining them will be increasingly important during a skills shortage.

Deloitte Access Economics estimates that by 2030 there will be over 5 million Australians aged 55-70 and based on current participation rates only 1.73 million of them will still be in the workforce.

To tap this potential source of productivity, businesses need to think differently about staff engagement. Forward-thinking employers will work hard to convince older workers not to retire.

Section 5 of Where is your next worker? examines:

  • Making more of a rapidly ageing population
  • Talent comes in many shades of grey
  • Lifting participation rates into a retirement headwind
  • Policy opening the way
  • Reflecting on the business opportunities
Recruiting Recruiting talent early to overcome the demographic gapGet full report

Reflections on the business opportunities

  • What percentage of your workforce will retire in the next five years?
  • What alternative jobs or flexible arrangements with more work-life balance can your organisation offer to encourage retiring workers to keep working?
  • Have you considered providing personal financial advice to your employees in this stage of their life, within the package of benefits provided by the organisation?
  • How are you supporting and encouraging your retiring workers to pass on knowledge in critical competencies to other employees?
  • What checks do you have in place to remove ageist barriers in language, processes and policies that might hinder retaining or recruiting older workers?
  • What is your recruitment and retention strategy to attract older workers who are re-entering the workforce? Does this include specialist advice on retirement planning and associated complex matters?
  • What is your succession planning strategy for retaining older workers?

Participation: Where is your next worker?


Increasing women’s participation in the workforce
Retaining women in the workforce could lessen the impact of Australia’s skills shortage.  While both sexes are equally represented in the workforce when careers start, women’s participation rate drops between the ages of 25 and 44, and never fully recovers.


Sourcing talent and skills through workforce diversity
Many overlooked potential workers - including people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians and immigrants with qualifications from unfamiliar institutions - could make a major contribution to solving the looming skills shortage


Moving workers interstate
Finding the right person for the job often depends as much on where they live as their abilities. With workforce mobility becoming increasingly critical, better use of technology can help employers take jobs to the workers.

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Where is your next worker?

Video [03:35]

Where is your next worker? addresses the positive actions business and government can take to maintain momentum in the face of a looming national skills shortage


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