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Prospects for older workers shrink while the skills gap widens, finds Randstad

Randstad has released its Workmonitor results for the second quarter 2016.

Globally, the impact of an aging workforce, resulting in a decrease of the working population, is becoming increasingly apparent. 56% of the respondents in the latest Randstad Workmonitor agree that retaining older workers is crucial for their company’s success, whereas 78% think that attracting younger people will do the trick. This is backed by the belief that job prospects for young people will increase in the next five years according to 69% of employees globally, where only 44% expect this for workers older than 55. According to the respondents, their employer also seems to focus more on attracting younger workers (64%) than on attracting and retaining their older workers (44%).

According to a recent Randstad publication, “flexibility@work 2016, the Future of Work in the Digital Age”, there is an increasing demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills, needed to survive in the world of digital and technology. Companies feel this impact: 60% of the global Randstad Workmonitor respondents point out that this is a real problem for their employer and 54% see that closing the skills gap is the number one priority at their company. Older workers carry the stigma of having more trouble acquiring new skills as 68% of the respondents seem to agree. 62% overall hold the opinion that the skills gap mainly lies in STEM.

To change the position of older workers on the labour market, Randstad Netherlands recently launched tits national program +POWER. With this program, Randstad provides this talented group of people a platform by removing existing biases, emphasise the advantages of 50+ workers, and by facilitating them in their job search.

Again, for the third quarter in a row, the number of employees who expect to find another job within the next six months remained stable at 109. Looking more in-depth, mobility has increased in some countries, compared to the last quarter, like the US, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark and Poland (all +4), Italy (+6) and Portugal (+9). The reason for the increase in Italy is expectedly due to a certain economy recovery and market flexibility as a consequence of the jobs act reform. In Portugal the economic recovery is seen as an impulse for mobility.

Mobility has decreased in Chile (-6), Mexico, Brazil and the UK (-5) and Canada (-4).

24% of the employees actually changed jobs in the last six months; again a bit higher than previous quarter (23%). The actual job change increased most in India (49%) and Malaysia (43%). In Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland the job change decreased compared to last quarter. For the third quarter in a row, Luxembourg has the lowest job change (5%). 

Compared to last quarter, the job appetite increased in China, Greece, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Slovakia. Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Singapore and the Netherlands show a decrease in appetite compared to last quarter.

Compared to last quarter, job satisfaction decreased in Argentina, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. There are no positive shifts in job satisfaction compared to last quarter. 

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