Recruitment Market Segment LS
Recruitment Market Segment RS
×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 3667

Market Segment Banner 705x108 Contractor

Tuesday, 08 February 2011 15:13

Wrinkles rankle recruiters

By

By 2030 one in five Australians will be aged 65 and over - but they'd best not expect a job in IT&T - a sector showing signs of entrenched ageism. Wrinkles, it seems, rankle recruiters.

The IT Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA) which is the peak industry body for IT&T recruitment companies today released its discussion paper into perceived ageism in the sector. Called Mature Age Workers in ICT; foundations, effects and approaches to ageism, the report pulls together information from a wide range of sources to show that older Australians are significantly under represented in ICT's ranks.

While 46 per cent of the Australian workforce falls into the 25-44 years old bracket, 63 per cent of the ICT workforce falls in this age range. However while 22 per cent of workers are 45-54, only 18 per cent of ICT workers are this age.

The problem is even starker in the 55-64 years old bracket. While 18 per cent of all workers are this age, just 7 per cent of IT&T employees fall into this bracket.

Perceptions in HR departments and recruitment firms might be part of the problem.

The report cited one example of a 45 year old who: 'Noticed that he was no longer able to secure the contracting jobs through recruiters he easily secured before, but found he could secure the same types of contract roles by applying direct to employers, circumventing ICT recruiters.'

Robert Brand is one older IT&T worker who is finding it harder to secure a position in a sector which he has served well for 40 years. Aged 59 Mr Brand has an impressive CV and extensive experience.

He has also been without a job since last year.

'I'm still at the pointy end of the stick,' he told iTWire, having recently designed fibre optic networks and rolled out 3G networks. But he's finding HR people don't seem to believe older workers can still be (or even want to be) at the pointy end.


Yet ITCRA's discussion paper notes a survey which shows that in 2010 53 per cent of business and IT professionals expected to work beyond the age of 65.

In job interviews Mr Brand has been asked how he'd feel about working for 25 year old managers. Even when he points out: 'It's not a problem for me, but it may be for them,' he's missed out on roles.

And when individual IT&T executives do recognise his skills and value and want to find him a role, he says they are coming up against the attitude that; 'We haven't got room on the payroll for another white haired guy.' While Mr Brand acknowledged that there are some older people who don't want to take on big new roles as they enter their late 50s and 60s, he stresses that he's not one of them.

Instead he's frustrated that; 'I have to dumb myself down at the interview. Scary isn't it? Ageism might be a real thing.'

ITCRA's new report suggests it is. And although the skills market seems to be taking a short breather at present (the Advantage Job Index for January which was released today shows demand for IT workers fell 2 per cent in January) the long term trend is still positive.

The January Advantage Index for IT workers year on year is up 22.2 per cent, and recruiters are still pointing to an ICT skills shortage taking hold later this year. To exclude a portion of the workforce simply because of their age seems counterproductive.


ITCRA's report however notes statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Network of Australia which found that in 2010 while 14 per cent of companies had anti discrimination programmes based around gender issues, just 4 per cent had anti ageism programmes.

In a media release ITCRA CEO Julie Mills said that it was time to: 'Really look at why the industry's age profile is skewed towards younger workers, ask hard questions about what has to be done, and look at new ways that ICT and its service providers can turn the industry into a true leader in workplace diversity.'

As the report notes: 'The ICT recruitment industry is in an excellent position to take a leadership role in this area, using the education, skills and abilities of ICT recruiters and professionals. For recruiters, fair discrimination is part of the job'”but it must navigate the legal passage between unlawful discrimination based on stereotyping and professionally finding the best person for the job by effectively assessing skills, talents and abilities.'

But it also lays some of the responsibility with older IT workers themselves. 'To suggest that discrimination does not occur would be naive; however the statistics suggest that rather than being a case solely of employers and recruiters discriminating against workers, it suggests rather that workers may also be self-selecting to not continue working in ICT beyond 'prime age' for a range of reasons. More research is needed to understand these dynamics as the truth will have a major impact on which future programs will succeed in boosting the age profile of the ICT industry's workforce.'

It also notes that; 'ICT is perceived as the great equaliser, an industry that provides better access to information, better mobility, and better communication to people no matter their location; their financial status; or their mobility. ICT cannot afford to risk damaging this position by allowing the clause to be added, '... unless you're old.'




 

Read 4312 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here




GET READY FOR XCONF AUSTRALIA 2022

Thoughtworks presents XConf Australia, back in-person in three cities, bringing together people who care deeply about software and its impact on the world.

In its fifth year, XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists.

Participate in a robust agenda of talks as local thought leaders and Thoughtworks technologists share first-hand experiences and exchange new ways to empower teams, deliver quality software and drive innovation for responsible tech.

Explore how at Thoughtworks, we are making tech better, together.

Tickets are now available and all proceeds will be donated to Indigitek, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create technology employment pathways for First Nations Peoples.


Click the button below to register and get your ticket for the Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane event

GET YOUR TICKET!

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

BACK TO HOME PAGE

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments