Seniors and labour market: between expectations and real opportunities.

Italians over 60s are increasingly dynamic: over 2 million work and more than half of them do it by choice. The central role of technology. The BVA Doxa data for Seniors Impact Initiative of SingularityU Italy.

The world population is aging, and life expectancy is rising. Result: the over 60s are always healthier and more active, with an eye to the future, aware that the demographic revolution underway can be an opportunity. BVA Doxa, on the occasion of the Seniors Impact Initiative event as part of the SingularityU Italy Summit 2019, of which it is a partner, has carried out a research dedicated to the Italians over 60s with the aim of telling their approach to the labor market.

FEELING FUTURE – In Italy there are over 2 million people over 60 who work and in more than half of the cases (55%) they do it by choice, even if they could stop. According to the data presented by BVA Doxa, only 15% of seniors go on working for economic reasons. One out of three still works because can’t quit, but if he/she could, would opt for retirement.

The labor market requires continuous commitment and dedication. For 50% of the interviewees it is necessary to keep alive “the desire to learn and to stay up to date”. It is important to “become familiar with technology” (45%) and “create a bond between young people and different generations” (41%). Working is therefore a way to feel young and an active part of your present and future. Moreover, 12% of Italians over 60 believe they still have “much to give”.

An approach in line with one of the new trends already highlighted by BVA Doxa in a recent survey according to which in Italy people begin to feel old even at the age of 70! Only in Finland there is the same perception. In the rest of the world the perception of the onset of old age starts on average with the 56th birthday.

TECHNOLOGY IS ESSENTIAL – Technology can become a tool to improve the quality of life: over 50% of the Italians over 60s consider that technology is useful for the safety at home, away from home, the health and, last but not least, the labor market. In detail: for current senior workers “technology improves the quality of work” (77%), “optimizes the time needed to carry out work activities” (60%) and “allows you to do things that you would not otherwise be able to do” (58%).

TRAINING, FIRST OF ALL – 60% of workers and former workers experienced difficult situations linked to organizational change. For several reasons: firstly, due to the lack of familiarity with new technologies (38%), directly related to the “lack of adequate training on the use of the new instruments” (31%). Afterwards, “the growing use of English or other unknown languages” (35%) and the “necessity to go back to learn” (36%) connected to the inadequacy of the skills acquired over the years. In this evolution, only one senior worker out of three believes that his experience has been valued by the company. From the data collected by BVA Doxa, it emerges that 74% would like to participate to courses for learning new technologies and 49% would like to see greater involvement in the moments of meeting and company confrontation.

BABY BOOMERS MEET THE GEN Z – The will of the over 60s to deal with the youngest workers to cope with change is clear, in a two-way perspective that is beneficial to both parties. The most senior would like to “transmit their skills” to young people (in 41% of cases) and “learn (in turn) the skills they do not have, starting with technological ones” (34%).

In 2020, the first Gen Z – the generation of those born between 1997 and 2010 – will start working. Result: up to four different generations will be present in the company. And this is the first time that happens! As if to say, the challenge is open. For everyone.

“From our observatory it emerges how Italians over 60s are full of desires, even more than of needs, in particular for the future and planning. They are also ready to live positively the contamination with the younger generations” says Vilma Scarpino, CEO of BVA Doxa. “The challenge for companies and institutions is to start reflecting on demographic evolution as an opportunity. Human capital must be considered and valued as a whole and not in continuous conflicts (young vs old). We must abandon the only act here and now, the sense of continuous urgency, to the advantage of a longer-term logic that values ​​the positive roles and characteristics of each generation. It will be increasingly important for companies to evolve the role of seniors in the pursuit of an increasingly fruitful collaboration between generations”.

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