Age is the biggest perceived barrier to job opportunities in 2020



News

By Momoko Metham

Age is the greatest barrier to opportunities at work, according to findings in LinkedIn’s 2020 Opportunity Index.

The report sought to understand how people perceive employment opportunities and the gaps in achieving those opportunities.

Baby Boomers are the most likely to perceive age as a barrier, with almost half of Baby Boomers concerned about age, followed by Gen X, Z and Y.

Although all generations are concerned with age, there are differing reasons as to why this is.

Gen Z and Y are concerned with their age denoting a lack of experience in the workplace whilst Baby Boomers and Gen X are concerned with their age suggesting an ineptitude towards technology and adaption.

Matt Tindale, Country Manager for LinkedIn in Australia and New Zealand said that “While younger generations feel their age is a reflection of their lack of experience, more mature generations are struggling to adapt their skills for the changing workforce.

These sentiments reveal the differing perceptions across generations of what is more important in the recruitment process –technological skills or work experience.

Age, followed by financial status and a difficult job market round off the top three major barriers for Australians when it comes to employment opportunities in 2020.

For the first time ever in the Australian workforce, there are four generations working together.

This is a result of Baby Boomers continuing to work “well beyond” the retirement age, with an ageing population creating an ageing workforce.

Tindale said, “embracing Australia’s multigenerational workforce and leveraging this diversity of talent will be imperative in order for businesses to remain successful.”

Almost half of Australians believe work-life balance is the most important opportunity, followed by job security and stability.

Gen X and Gen Z were the most concerned with future employability with research by the Grattan Institute in 2019 revealing that youth under-employment is much higher than in the past.

The report says, “a lack of employment opportunities is also affecting the incomes of younger Australians. Both unemployment and under-employment are rising for young people.”

More young people are choosing to study, which may help them become employed in the future, however there is an increasing amount of those studying unsuccessfully finding employment.

Gen Z are the most likely to seek jobs that are more rewarding, treat them equally and give them recognition.

The common perception amongst the different generations is that hard work and embracing change are key factors to getting ahead in life.

“This year, as the economic landscape and job market continues to evolve, it will be important that Australians adopt a growth mindset and embrace lifelong learning to ensure they are best placed to seek the opportunities they want,” said Tindale.

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