LETTER: Older people have much to offer employers
Many employees are at their peak when they are told to join the pension line, in terms of skills experience
Willem Cronje’s excellent letter was spot on, but his list of criteria that should be ignored when selecting candidates for a specific position omits a very important one — age, “Main Problem is Skills Loss” (April 25).
For some reason we assume that when an employee reaches retirement age (60 to 65) he or she suddenly becomes incapable or unsuitable for employment of any kind.
We live in a time when people are living longer, and it has been said that the first person to live to 200 has already been born. This might be an exaggeration but it does highlight the issue that soon pensioners will be expected to fund retirement for longer than their working lives. This will pose some very challenging social problems.
In reality, many employees are at their peak when they are told to join the pension line, in terms of skills experience and the maturity they have to offer. Anyone over 60 trying to apply for a job today is unlikely to have their CV even read once the recruiter sees their date of birth, yet such employees are actually gold dust to employers. They can bring many years of experience and are invariably prepared to work for lower salaries than those 10 to 20 years younger.
State-owned enterprises and the government departments, for so long riddled with employees appointed due to patronage instead of ability, could improve their performance many times over if they were to relax their archaic rules that say they may not employ people older than 65.
There is in reality an enormous pool of talent if they would just look around them, and at the same time it would enable these “pensioners” to regain some dignity.
Dr Jon Harris (71)