More than 90 researchers, policymakers, bureaucrats and business leaders participated in the Policy Dialogue on Mature Workers in Organisations in early June.
The Policy Dialogue, co-hosted by CEPAR and the Australian National University’s Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA) in the Crawford School of Public Policy in Canberra, provides a forum for academics, policymakers and industry representatives to engage in a multilayered discussion and offer perspectives around a particular population ageing topic of national interest.
This year, the Policy Dialogue participants discussed challenges and opportunities of the ageing workforce in organisations and considered emerging policy issues for a productive future. The Dialogue was held in-person in a COVID-safe environment and live-streamed for off-site delegates.
CEPAR Director Scientia Professor John Piggott AO and the Dean of the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, Professor Sharon Bell AM, opened the Dialogue, which was followed by presentations from CEPAR Senior Research Fellow Rafal Chomik and Chief Investigator Professor Marian Baird AO on the macro demographic context of the mature workforce, including the regulatory context in Australia and interventions at the workplace level. Additional perspectives were provided from Mark Cully, First Assistant Secretary in Treasury's Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Division, Macroeconomic Group.
International developments and evidence coming out of Europe and North America were discussed by Professors Linda Duxbury of the Carleton University, Canada, and Donald Truxillo of the University of Limerick, Ireland.
Another session focused on recent research evidence and findings from Australian workplaces and employer strategies for an older workforce. The session featured presentations by CEPAR Chief Investigator Professor Sharon Parker on A Healthy and High Performing Mature Workforce: Inclusion, Individualisation and Integration Strategies in Australian Workplaces; by CEPAR researchers Drs Daniela Andrei and Jane Chong on COVID-19 and Mature Workers; and by Dr Christine Heyes LaBond, a Research Fellow at ANU’s National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health, who presented findings from her ARC funded research project Working Well, Working Wisely: How Do We Make Longer Working Lives Feasible and Fair?. PwC's Skills for Australia Director Tim Rawlings provided additional perspectives.
The Policy Dialogue concluded with a panel session focused on the challenges and responses for policy development and implementation. Chaired by CEPAR Chief Investigator Marian Baird AO, the panel comprised Age Discrimination Commissioner and CEPAR Advisory Board member The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO, CEPAR Principal Research Fellow Associate Professor Myra Hamilton, as well as Chief Investigators Professors Sharon Parker and John Piggott AO. The day concluded with Chief Investigator Warwick McKibbin's closing remarks in which he considered the day’s deliberations on the mature workforce in organisations and emerging policy issues for a productive future.
The Dialogue was timed to coincide with the release of CEPAR’s latest research brief – titled Tapping into Australia’s ageing workforce: Insights from recent research – which features and synthesizes research outcomes from more than 30 CEPAR researchers of which some presented recent research findings and the demographic, social and economic context of Australia’s ageing workforce at the Policy Dialogue event.