Taking Stock: Golden oldies

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by Emily Atkins

You may never get to retire.

While some people count the days until they can walk out the warehouse door for the last time, many others are not so keen on the prospect of kicking back with nothing to do. And that latter group is increasingly being touted as the ones to watch in our ever more talent-constrained world.

The notion of hiring more experienced, if older, people to take hard-to-fill positions is coming up more and more frequently. Our Logistics Leadership Roundtable (page 18) is just one example. Ross Reimer also takes up the argument in favour of older workers in his latest column (page 37).

It was even the subject of a letter last November from think-tank the C.D. Howe Institute to the federal minister of finance, asking the government to “prioritize strategies that encourage greater labour force participation by older workers in Budget 2019.” In its letter the Institute noted that in spite of the increasing numbers of people over 55 who stay in the labour pool, their participation rate is far below those in the younger age groups.

The Institute suggests that one way to boost participation from the older group is to ensure they have the ability to upgrade their skills. Learning new skills is proven to keep people mentally agile and will also benefit employers by allowing them to utilize not only this group’s decades of experience in the workforce, but also their newly acquired talents.

Sounds like a winning combination to me. And as someone who has zero plans to retire, it’s good to know there’s research to back up my decision. Of course, for now it’s up to me to make sure I stay sharp enough to stay in the game, but perhaps by the time I get to a ‘certain age’ there will be school for seniors where I can learn the latest technology skills and also share my experience with a new generation of workers.

What are your plans? Does retirement have a place in your future? Take a look at this issue’s stories about work and then drop me a note. We’ll share the best letters next time around.

As always, we are on the lookout for all the great supply chain stories taking place. I look forward to hearing from you.