Demographic fault line running through workforce

by 15 Dec 2008

There is a “demographic fault line” running through the Australian labour force, and generational gaps will see the number of new entrants to the workforce decrease steadily over the next 50 years, according to leading demographer Bernard Salt. Speaking at a recent RCSA event in Melbourne, Salt said that as baby boomers get closer to retirement it was likely that the western world would increasingly turn to migration to fill the boomer gap. Coupled with the current economic climate, he said generational factors will guarantee the changing face of the Australian labour force and will challenge the recruitment industry.

Economic crisis challenges business training

The global economic crisis has highlighted the importance of current business education models in training the corporate leaders of tomorrow, according to RMIT University’s Professor John Toohey. Business schools faced big challenges in the age of the “fiscal thermonuclear meltdown”. “A downturn in the economy is often followed by an increase in enrolments in postgraduate business programs, particularly MBAs – we are already seeing this in some American schools and I expect we’ll see the same in Australia,” he said.

Busting top generational myths

Generational differences, the importance of work-life balance and what attracts generation Y to an organisation are still commonly misunderstood by many workplaces, according to Peter Langford, senior lecturer at Macquarie University and founder of the research and consulting firm Voice Project. As part of the recent National Psychology Week, Langford said the two main factors that keep staff motivated are a sense of purpose and feeling involved in an organisation. This is the same across all generations, industries and demographics. “People want to believe in an organisation’s mission, vision and values. They want to understand why the organisation exists and how it contributes to society,” he said.