Older Workers: Exploring and Addressing the Stereotypes

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Forum of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors
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Description / Summary

This report examines current knowledge on attitudes and beliefs about older workers and presents initiatives to address these positive and negative stereotypes.

Over the past two decades, Canada’s labour force has seen greater numbers of people staying in the work force longer. However, widespread ageist views may be responsible for persistent negative beliefs and attitudes about older workers and their role in the workforce.

The engagement of older workers and combatting ageism is an important issue for the Forum of Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for Seniors. On May 31, 2021, the Forum published its report entitled Older Workers: Exploring and Addressing the Stereotypes. The report examines current knowledge on attitudes and beliefs about older workers and includes best practices and initiatives to address these negative stereotypes.

Governments, employers and all Canadians have a role to play in challenging negative perceptions and attitudes not only of older workers, but of older adults. This can notably include the creation of positive messaging and building evidence to refute negative stereotypes.

This report about older workers’ participation in the labour force delivers on one of the Forum’s key priorities for the 2018–2021 work cycle. This information will be supporting the Forum’s future thinking on how to best encourage the engagement of older workers, who offer value to the economy and the broader society.

Quotes

“Ageist views in Canadian workplaces ruin careers and hold back our economy. This report provides a better understanding of the challenges that older workers face as they strive to remain active contributors in the workforce. We all need to challenge ageist stereotypes in our workplaces and in our society.”
– Minister of Seniors, Deb Schulte

“This report reminds us that we all have a part in challenging the negative stereotypes of older adults in the workplace. Older workers bring a range of work and life experience to their careers, and are a valuable addition to any workplace. As our economy recovers, Alberta’s government continues to deliver training support programs to help Albertans, including seniors, adapt to changing times and gain the skills they need today and tomorrow.”
– Minister of Seniors and Housing, Josephine Pon, Government of Alberta 

Link to News Release

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