Supporting older people to stay in the workforce and transition their skills as they age and their circumstances change is a key part of the new Older Workers Employment Action Plan.
Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni and Minister for Seniors Dr Ayesha Verrall announced the details on the new action plan on Wednesday.
“The Government wants every New Zealander who is able to be earning, learning, caring or volunteering to do so,” says Sepuloni.
“This approach contributes to a well-functioning labour market which in turn, helps us tackle the long-term challenges to lift the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.”
Verrall says older workers make up around a third of the New Zealand workforce and almost half of all New Zealanders aged 65 to 69 are employed.
“But we know that older workers can face unique and complex challenges in finding and staying in paid employment.
“Whether that’s being made redundant and struggling to find a new job or having limited options when they do look for work.
“This action plan acts as a blueprint on how the Government can help support and encourage older people to stay in the workforce if they want or need to and supports the Government’s overall Employment Strategy,” says Varrell.
The Older Workers Employment Action Plan focuses on people aged 50 and over and is made up of 11 action items with a focus on training and upskilling, finding and staying in work, supporting employers to be more inclusive, and planning for the effects and opportunities of an aging workforce.
It supports the Government’s overall Employment Strategy, along with six other population-specific employment action plans.
Verrall says that plan was even more important now, as New Zealand recovers from Covid-19.
“Older workers bring skills and knowledge to their workplaces and contribute significantly to the economy.
“Keeping these people and their skills in the workforce is key to keeping our economy strong.
“We want everyone – including older people – to have a job that fulfils their needs and aspirations and contributes to their overall wellbeing,” Varrell says.