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Aug 12, 2010


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Rehirement: BVC study sheds new light on mature workers

CALGARY – A new Bow Valley College (BVC) research project examining the recruitment and retention of workers over the age of 50 pinpoints several best practices beneficial to both employers and mature workers. 

The study, conducted by BVC’s Office of Applied Research and Innovation and sponsored by Alberta Employment and Immigration, is now being used to develop a rehirement toolkit for career coaches and human resources personnel working with mature workers seeking employment.

“The federal and provincial governments are increasingly viewing mature workers as a significant component of Canada’s changing labour market,” says Dr. Rena Shimoni, Dean of Applied Research and lead author of the study. “It’s important that employers understand the different interests and needs of this demographic, and that mature workers understand how they can best maintain and upgrade their skills to provide value in the workplace.”   

The study, entitled Facilitating the Retention and/or Re-entry of Mature Workers in the Workplace: A Mature Worker Study, found that older workers value flexible work arrangements and unique benefits policies as key motivators in choosing an organization. For example, many older workers seek part-time employment, rather than full-time, and more comprehensive pension and health benefits, over higher compensation.  

Employers, on the other hand, identified the need for workers over the age of 50 to receive targeted training so they are fluent with emerging technological and market trends. The study also identified strategies mature workers can use to increase their chances when applying for a new job. 

“Older workers need to learn how to market themselves for today’s employment opportunities and upgrade gaps in their skills,” says Dr. Shimoni. “This also highlights the need for post-secondary institutions to work collaboratively to create continuing education programming to bridge these gaps.”

Alberta Employment and Immigration has provided $74,000 to BVC to develop the Coaching for Rehirement: A Toolkit for Coaching Mature Workers, which will be completed in May 2011. 

Bow Valley College – Calgary and region’s One and Only Comprehensive Community College – with more than 11,000 full- and part-time students, is a leader in health and business career training, adult upgrading, and English as a Second Language. BVC’s Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES), workplace training for immigrant professionals, and employment services provide a wide range of services for business and professionals. Established in 1965, Bow Valley College is in the midst of a multi-million dollar expansion, creating state-of-the-art facilities and doubling its student capacity by the year 2013.

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