Business overlooking experienced workers: Survey

Despite businesses saying they are in a skills “crisis”, employers are overlooking the capabilities of experienced Australians to help fill the gaps in the workforce, according to a survey.

The finding comes as the Government’s Jobs Bonuses Scheme for mature-aged workers will roll out in July.

The federal scheme gives employers $1,000 if they provide a worker aged 50 or over with a job for at least three months.

The annual Australia’s Skills Gap survey conducted by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) discovered that 77% of organisations have a skills gap.

Just 3% of businesses with a skills gap said they were using mature workers in mentoring or coaching roles.

Only 21% of those surveyed said they had programs in place to access the skill sets of retirees or former long-term workers.

A total of 1,685 business executives and professionals participated in the survey.

The CEO of AIM’s Victorian division, Susan Heron said companies are placing a greater reliance on training and other internal means to try to close their skills gap.

“The one potential resource they are overlooking are their older and experienced staff. It’s a skills blind spot,” Heron said.

“Mature-aged Australians, whether they’re in the workforce or have retired in recent years have a wealth of knowledge and job ‘know-how’ that can provide savvy employers with a competitive edge.”

  • 45% of respondents said leadership was the biggest skills gap in their workplace.
  • 39% said it was process and project management skills.
  • 35% technical and industry specific skills.
  • 34% communication/interpersonal skills.
  • 32% managerial skills.

Leadership was also named as the number one “personal skill priority” for employees (39%) ahead of “teamwork” (35%) and “analytical/strategic thinking” (33%).



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