Ageism greatest barrier in Singapore workplaces

Both older and younger candidates cite difficulties when finding new jobs, finds LinkedIn's study

Ageism greatest barrier in Singapore workplaces

Ageism is a key barrier for Singaporeans seeking new job opportunities, according to LinkedIn.

Although older generations like Gen X and Baby Boomers cite greater difficulties, research showed that young workers face challenges as well.

For example, age is a challenge for younger candidates due to insufficient work experience — cited by 32% Gen Zs and 20% of millennials.

Baby Boomers, however, said they struggle with keeping up with technological and automation changes.

Respondents believe that their age negatively impacts their pursuit of job-related opportunities such as being able to secure a more stable job, to change careers, and when aiming to find a job that treats them equally. This is most relevant to Baby Boomers (43%), followed by Gen X (27%).

In the report, Patrick Tay, assistant secretary-general at NTUC, is quoted urging employers to help older employees in the age of transformation.

“It is crucial for both businesses and [professionals] to take concerted and continuous efforts to stay ready with new skills, relevant to new jobs and resilient to cyclical forces amidst the changing nature of work, workforce and workplaces,” Tay said.

READ MORE: Ageism shockingly persists in Singapore firms

Oliver Legrand, managing director at LinkedIn in Asia Pacific, said employers should bank on the advantages of a multigenerational workforce, encouraging leaders to hire for complementary skills and promote collaboration.

Today’s biggest skills gaps, he added, are soft skills among Gen Z and millennials, and tech skills among older employees.

“For the first time, four generations are working together,” Legrand said. “It’s time for businesses to set aside hiring biases against age, and embrace multigenerational workforce as an opportunity.”

Sharing the same sentiment, Helen Tupper, CEO of Amazing If and author of The Squiggly Career was quoted citing the perils of ageism in today’s multi-generational workforce.

“Fears of being too young or being too old hold people back from contributing fully in the workplace,” Tupper said.

“If individuals can overcome their ‘confidence gremlins’ and understand the unique value of their contribution, we can build strengths-based workforces that create significant competitive advantage.”

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