An Ageing Workforce Opportunities for RTOs
Part one: Australia’s Demographics • What makes the next decade any different to the previous three (or more) decades?
Australian Baby Boomers are retiring • The numbers of young people joining the workforce are reducing in number in all western countries • Australia’s fertility rate is 1.7… … this is below replacement levels
Fertility Rates within Australia: 1921 to 2051 Replacement Rate 2.1 Source: ABS Cat No 3301.0
During the past 40 years labour growth has helped fuel Australia’s GDP growth rate • Over the past years Australia’s labour force has grown by an average of around 180,000 per annum and may better that in 2005 and 2006. • Access Economics predicts that during the decade beginning 2020, this will have dropped to an average of around 19,000 per annum • The decline in the supply of young people has commenced and will accelerate sharply in the next decade
With the retirement of the baby boomers Tas, SA, NSW & Vic will be the first states to feel the impact. WA and Qld will be affected slightly later. • So far, labour supply is able to keep pace by extending employment to those previously marginally employed • Despite this, serious skills shortages have already appeared in many industries • Predictions indicate that by 2010 serious labour shortages could exist in some industries
What does the decline in growth mean? Fewer workers means • reduced labour supply • reduced skills availability • potential negative impact on ability to produce goods or services in Australia
SO: • Numbers of young people are declining relative to the population • Numbers of older people are increasing relative to the population • Many employers are already facing skill shortages • Skill shortages are predicted to get worse as the baby boomers leave the market with their knowledge and skill • Employers, especially in small/medium businesses, may face serious labour shortages
QUESTION Where will labour growth come from in the near future?
As the decline in the supply of younger employees starts to bite, employers will be looking for assistance. • They will need literate, skilled, knowledgeable employees • Many employers will need to work hard to retain their competent older workers • Many will need to recruit from groups with historically lower levels of participation
One group for employers to consider is older workers … • Already skilled, experienced • They bring a training investment with them • Have attitudes of loyalty, persistence, quality • Have a knowledge of products, customers, systems • Represent the age of many of the customers who will increasingly be mature age themselves.
What are the implications for employers in retaining older workers? • What are the implications of this for training providers? • What are the implications for students? • How will the future differ from the past for RTOs?
Part two: Implications • Older workers will be critical to labour supply • Despite best efforts only a fraction of the training budget goes to workers over 45 • If employers need to retain older workers it is unthinkable that they could be 20 years without skilling • What might be needed?
Implications for Employers Employers may have to revise employment practices to make the workplace • more flexible • more interesting and varied • healthier And they will have to make training and promotion opportunities open to people of all ages to encourage competent older workers to remain in the workforce
Employers will expect RTOs to analyse… • roles, responsibilities and staffing requirements • job design and task breakdowns • career pathways and qualification mapping processes • the linking of current training materials
Employers may need design and development of: • specific learning resources • diversity training • customised training
… and practical approaches to: • cultural and behavioural issues • recruitment practices • OH&S requirements …. targeted to HR Professionals, Managers, Employee Relations staff and Recruitment Personnel
Employers will also need support and advice that assists them to: • attract new employees • retain staff • manage skills requirements
Implications for Learners Learners will need: • A lifetime perspective on learning • Recognition of prior knowledge, skills, experience and learning (especially important!) • Taking into account the needs of individuals and their past experiences and fears
Learners will also need: Training activities and materials that are: • Flexible, responsive and demand driven • Succinct and detailed, tailored to the learner’s work environment • Workplace-based learning • Tied to immediate work requirements • Modified to work circumstances • Cost effective and accessible
Training Professionals can … • Work with employers, industry, recruitment and HR management • Reinforce a ‘life course’ perspective • Address entrenched attitudes and barriers • Provide a non-threatening training environment • Foster a demand driven approach to skills development • Emphasise recognition of prior learning and experience • Customise activities and services • In short, be learner-driven
Training providers may wish to … • Identify challenges for industry and client groups • Review current courses/services offered • Analyse current methodologies and practices, with particular emphasis on older learners • Create new approaches and innovative services • Consider staffing, resource and facility requirements • Identify professional development needs for the team
So, where to begin? RTOs are advised to: • Identify the implications of this demographic shift • Plan for change • Upgrade professional skills • Work closely with employers and with learners AND … • Adopt Principles of Good Practice to guide further work (see separate template next slide)
PRINCIPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE The training professionals in this business follow these guiding Principles when working with older learners: • We work in partnership with employers to ensure that all employees, regardless of age, are encouraged to participate in training, learning and development opportunities for the full course of their working lives • We encourage workers and intending workers of all ages to recognise that continual upskilling is of critical importance to them in maintaining employment and in developing the potential throughout their working lives • Together with managers and learners develop: • Flexible pathways to extend skills and learning, including on-the-job learning, coaching and structured training opportunities • short modules, and • recognition of prior learning and current competencies cont/
PRINCIPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE (cont) The training professionals in this business follow these guiding Principles when working with older learners: • We recognise the richness of experience in older learners and take these into account when designing and delivering training to them • We recognise that many older learners may feel apprehensive in returning to learning, and provide learning opportunities that are sensitive to this possibility • We work to dispel negative stereotypes about older learners through the promotion of positive case studies and encouraging older learners to share their experiences • Market learning opportunities for older learners and measure the learning participation rate to ensure that they are not being overlooked when training opportunities present
You are invited to amend this template so it best fits your RTO business