Participation of older people in the workforce is the topic of ongoing policy debate. Working longer seems a simple answer to population ageing. However, stories abound about employers discriminating against people over the age of 50 years. But is this the only group to face workplace discrimination and exclusion?
Rethinking Advocacy on Ageing and Work challenges the notion that only older people experience discrimination in the workplace. Philip Taylor highlights the policy contradictions about work across the age spectrum. He asks whether working longer is a reasonable proposition for both employees and employers. He also critiques the Human Rights Commission’s Willing to Work report as too narrowly focused. After all, ageism doesn’t just apply to older Australians. A longer version of this paper was published by Per Capita.
Taylor’s paper is one from a set of conference papers focused on discrimination and employment. They include:
From jobless to job ready outlines a collaborative model of preparing people for work. Case studies illustrate that tailored education programs and collaborating with local industries achieves productive outcomes. This is especially important where poverty is a factor.
Breaking Through Barriers to Assist Young People who are Blind or have Low vision has micro case studies to illustrate Vision Australia’s project. It gives an overview of how employment barriers were overcome so that participants achieved their goals.
Enhancing Inclusivity at Work Through Mindfulness takes the discussion beyond gender, culture, age or sexual preference. It asks us to think about the every day judgements we make about other people. It’s these judgements that make true inclusion a huge challenge.