Longevity Agenda Action Item
- Practice career-long development and training of all staff
If training is concentrated in the early years of employment and falls off by mid-career, older workers are more likely to be or to appear less skilled and more expensive than new hires. The consequence is a form of planned obsolescence.
We cannot sustain and lengthen the contribution of aging workers without addressing this essential problem. Reviewing the excerpt from the article by veteran economics writer Chris Farrell offers a useful perspective on the challenges and solutions undertaken by several pioneering companies.
Employers Need To Train Their Older Workers, Too | Forbes | Chris Farrell – Next Avenue
“It’s nuts, but employee training programs tend to ignore older workers. This is bad for business, bad for workers in their 50s and 60s and bad for the U.S. economy. Fortunately, though, a few progressive employers are embracing training for experienced workers.
“But they’re in the distinct minority. A few years back, the U.S. Department of Labor Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce issued a report saying that workers between ages 25 and 34 received an average of 37 training hours per year compared with nine hours for employees over 55. Little has changed since then.
“The employer’s perspective is fairly straightforward, says Lee Branstetter, director of the Center for the Future of Work at Carnegie Mellon University. Corporate executives tend to assume that “older workers won’t work as long as younger workers.” Put another way, the thinking goes: Why bother training older workers? They’ll retire soon.
“Yet experienced workers are eager to get additional training so they can keep their skills sharp and make themselves more employable.
More than 8 in 10 workers age 45 to 64 say the opportunity to learn something new is critical to their view of an ideal job, according to an AARP Work and Career Study survey….”
Read the full article: Employers Need To Train Their Older Workers, Too.
Report of the Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce | U.S. Department of Labor
“One study found that the hours of training received decline with age: while workers ages 25 to 34 participated in an average of 37 hours of employer-provided training in a year, employees age 55 and older participated in 9 hours.” [Footnote: Kelly Mikelson and Demetra Smith Nightengale, “Estimating Public and Private Expenditures on Occupational Training in the United States,” unpublished paper prepared by the Urban Institute and Johns Hopkins University for the Employment and Training Administration, 2004]
Read the full report: Report of the Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce