A new report by the Economist on the state of global ageing paints a grim picture. By 2050, one person in three in developed countries will be a pensioner. The fiscal costs of dealing with an ageing population will dwarf any other expenditure governments incurred (Listen to an audio interview with Barbara Beck).
Closer to home, it is estimated that ‘the number of people aged 65 years will increase by 111 per cent between 2006 and 2036’. ABS predicted that one in four Australians will aged 65 or over by 2056. There are major implications – Retirement age will probably increase. Migration will not be nearly enough to fill the gap left by retiring personnel. Skills shortage will be a major issue, with added pressure on educational institutions to provide a steady supply of talent. Workforce participation rate will have to increase. More women may have to join the workforce. Untapped talent pool have to mined. To compound the problem, people of working age are increasingly changing how they view work. One million of us are not interested to work full-time for others. The workplace and the recruitment of staff as we know now will promises to be very different in the near future, not least because of the ageing population.
Our profession, of course, is in the thick of the problem. Given our very being is dictated by supply and demand dynamics of labour, the absence of attention on the population bomb is baffling. (The fifth Annual Australia’s Ageing Population Summit was held this month. Not a squeak from the media)