Old but not passé
Ageing Around the web

Old but not passé

Group of elderly using the computer

Asian economies can capitalise on its aged population, or its “silver dividend”, to become more productive, resilient, and dynamic than ever, asserts Professor of Economics Lee Jong-Wha, who is also director of the Asiatic Research Institute at Korea University.

But the issue in South Korea for instance, he argued, is that while countries are keeping people in employment beyond the traditional retirement age to sustain the labour supply, many of the jobs performed by elderly workers are low-paid, hence displacing younger workers. This could affect overall productivity.

It is therefore vital that seniors have access to lifelong learning programmes that allow them to upgrade their skills to keep up with technological changes, and are encouraged to seize these opportunities, even if it requires them to take a break from full-time employment, he said.

Some companies in Singapore have embraced this, such as SingPost and PSA, where one in 10 of their employees are 60 years old and above. They have also created age-friendly workplaces and job design, and leverage technology to help seniors in their work.

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