Social engineering is going to be needed if there is really to be an aging workforce.
It seems not too harsh to give today’s 57 year old workers notice that pensions won’t kick in for them at 65. With pensioners living until 90 it is hard for workers to rail against an extended working life.
But an employer might reasonably do so. A 70 year old of any description, not just a labourer, simply does not have the same energy to put in to work as when they were 35.
At around 65 years old it is most likely the worker has risen to the top of their chosen career, trade or job. They are probably on the top salary. It is trite and useless to talk about expertise and skills learned, that much is obvious. A worker who can only put in four or five hours a day before looking for a nap is just not a desirable employee, specially if they are being paid top dollar.
It is not reasonable for employers to pay for full time energetic workers when that is not what they are getting. Rant against this if you like but it is the simple economic reason why aging workers are not being employed in the numbers needed. That will not change unless we all talk sense.
We have to stop pretending and focus on the real world. Accept the stamina level of the aging worker and focus on the benefits.
If a worker, who is highly skilled, is able to work from “9 till 1”. Why make them hang around for the last four hours each day filling in time but have to pay them as though they are producing. This is the road to un-employment for most Australian senior workers.
Instead both workers and employers need to work out the economics. Make the job “9 till 1”. Make the pay scale fit. Let the employer have highly skilled, highly experienced top dollar worker input-output for that time. It will mean an overall pay-cut but it will retain employability, possibly even make senior workers attractive employees.
And it will make time to jet-ski or play golf in the afternoon.