IT and telecomms inactive on mature workers

Information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) is the industry sector least likely to attract and retain mature age workers, according to a survey released this morning. A report from recruitment specialist Hudson -- which surveyed more than 8,000 employers across industries around Australia -- found IT&T employers had a distinct preference for younger workers at the expense of their mature age counterparts.

Information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) is the industry sector least likely to attract and retain mature age workers, according to a survey released this morning.

A report from recruitment specialist Hudson -- which surveyed more than 8,000 employers across industries around Australia -- found IT&T employers had a distinct preference for younger workers at the expense of their mature age counterparts. According to Hudson, the survey showed only 32.3 percent of employers in IT and 23.8 percent in telecommunications were "proactively" looking to attract and retain mature-age workers. These were the lowest percentages of all the industries surveyed and well below the national average of 40.7 percent.

Most keen to employ mature aged workers was the finance sector, at 46.9 percent. Professional services, government, wholesale/distribution and construction/engineering/property also had more than 40 percent of organisations looking to attract older workers.

"Employers in the IT&T sector have tended to be poor at reskilling mature age workers and therefore some workers have been left behind in terms of the skill sets now in demand," said Hudson IT&T director Martin Retschko.

"However, with the continuing skills shortage, IT&T employers cannot afford to do this."

More technology employers could take advantage of this skill base if they considered flexible work options like job-sharing and part-time work, according to Retschko.

However, while IT&T was lagging behind other industries, it had increased its "proactivity" bover the last two years. Hudson claimed the rate of employer proactivity had improved by 11 percentage points in IT over the last two years and seven percentage points in telecommunications.

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