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Research and resources to help older workers succeed

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Workers are remaining in the labour force longer today, either by choice or due to necessity. Some workers are choosing to pivot into new careers after leaving the workforce – taking on gig work or starting businesses, for instance – while others are delaying retirement. While there are increasing opportunities for older workers, many still face negative stereotypes from employers that can impede their job search or threaten their employment status. The following resources include research about older workers, strategies for job search and much more.

Reports
The Status of Senior Entrepreneurship in Canada: A Snapshot (Sheridan Centre for Elder Research)

This CERIC-funded study, released in 2018, found nearly four in 10 older entrepreneurs face gaps in the support they need to launch or develop their businesses. The top three reasons entrepreneurs surveyed started a business after 50 were:

  1. Interest in continuing to use their skills,
  2. Needing or wanting to generate a new source of income
  3. Wanting greater ownership and control of their work and lifestyle

You can also learn more about the results of this research in a CERIC webinar on “Senior entrepreneurs matter: Who they are, what they need and how you can help,” presented by the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research’s Pat Spadafora and Lia Tsotsos.

Reasons for working at 60 and beyond (Statistics Canada)

This report, released in December 2018, finds:

  • Close to one-third of persons aged 60 and over worked or wanted to work in the previous year. Of these, more than 80% worked as the main activity, about 10% worked at some time during the period without it being the main activity, and less than 10% did not work but wanted to work.
  • Half of older workers who worked or wanted to work in the previous year did so out of necessity, and the share was similar for men and women.
The Twin Threats of Aging and Automation (Mercer and Oliver Wyman)

This 2018 report examines and quantifies the risks of rapid societal aging, and of older workers’ susceptibility to automation in fifteen major markets. It makes the case that older workers face significant risks of displacement at the hands of emerging technologies and are often overlooked as viable sources of renewed productivity.

Older Workers at Risk of Withdrawing from the Labour Force or Becoming Unemployed: Employers’ views on how to retain and attract older workers (Government of Canada)

This report aims to help make employers aware of the potential benefits of recruiting and retaining older workers, particularly those at risk of withdrawing from the labour force.

Guides, tip sheets and resource compilations
Resources for Mature Workers (Government of Alberta)

This website contains articles, publications and other resources related to older workers, including:

Tips for Mature Workers (WorkBC)

This brief article offers tips for mature workers looking for employment including how to prepare to look for work and how to learn effective job search strategies.

Careers at 50+: Job Search Resources for Older Workers (Monster)

Links to a series of articles geared toward mature workers on topics such as returning to work after retirement, overcoming ageism in the job search, boomeranging and part-time jobs for older workers.

Monster also has a separate article for older jobseekers titled “Older But Wiser – Tips for Mature Job Seekers.”

Advice for mature workers in their job search (Career Builder)

This article presents strategies for workers over 50 to help combat negative stereotypes from employers and be successful in their job search.

The Gig Economy for Boomers: the Ultimate Guide (Long Life, Fun Life)

This guide covers topics including defining gigs and the gig economy, how to decide on a type of gig, downsides of gig work and websites to explore.

Other resources
Documentary: Redirection: Work and Later Life Career Development Project (York University)

This free, 22-minute documentary is based on the results of a CERIC-funded study that examined the experiences of older workers (age 50 and older) in Canada as they sought out new employment through second or third careers. It also investigated the ways that career services practitioners work with older adults.

Literature search: Older workers and career development (CERIC)

Updated in April 2019, this literature search covers topics including: older workers retention; age discrimination; organizational support; retirement / working retirement; career satisfaction; and older women in the labour force.

Literature search: Generational conflict in the workplace (CERIC)

Updated in April 2019, this literature search covers topics including: Generation X, Y; older workers; values in the workplace; gender and age; Millennials; motivation and communication; Baby Boomers; and multigenerational workplaces.

Association: Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP)

This membership-based organization advocates for older Canadians. While it does not appear to directly work on employment issues, it does advocacy in areas that can intersect with work, such as pensions, poverty reduction and access to housing.

Website: Change Rangers

Change Rangers delivers research and advisory services related to the business and social aspects of aging demographics such as marketing to segments of a 50+ audience, opportunities, trends and changing concepts in a longevity economy.

Its founder, Mark Venning, has written for CareerWise on “Work and careers in the longevity economy” and “Entrepreneurship on the career continuum: Opportunities for career services.”

Website: Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum

This Government of Canada site offers many resources for seniors, including sections on age-friendly workplaces, balancing work and caregiving, and labour force participation.

Listing: Top Employers for Canadians Over 40

This annual ranking highlights positive workplaces for older Canadians. Note that employers apply for consideration.


Did we miss something? Leave a comment below or send us a note at careerwise@ceric.ca if you have information that can help make our article even better.

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Lindsay Purchase Administrator
Lindsay Purchase oversees CERIC’s tri-annual magazine, Careering, and the CareerWise website, along with the CareerWise Weekly newsletter. She has a background in journalism, having worked previously as a digital editor and reporter. Lindsay is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies program.
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Lindsay Purchase Administrator
Lindsay Purchase oversees CERIC’s tri-annual magazine, Careering, and the CareerWise website, along with the CareerWise Weekly newsletter. She has a background in journalism, having worked previously as a digital editor and reporter. Lindsay is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies program.
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