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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                                9  September 2011

Singapore minister urges better use of older workers

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Today's older workers hit middle age and beyond in better condition compared to the past, and employers should note this and not unconsciously apply past norms.

Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob said this on Thursday on the sidelines of an award ceremony recognising older workers, who are often more punctual and responsible than their younger counterparts.

Madam Halimah said by maintaining their physical fitness and mental well-being, older workers can continue to make valuable contributions.

As such, it would be worthwhile for employers to keep them, as they can mentor and coach younger workers.

Madam Halimah also had five recommendations to make the workplace age-friendly for older workers.

These include job redesign, reviewing policies and practices, and building good intergenerational workplace relations.

Asked if uncertainties in the global economy will affect hiring of older workers, Madam Halimah said she's optimistic of opportunities for them.

She said: "A lot of companies still do need workers and are recruiting workers. If you look at it from that perspective, the opportunities for older workers are there.

"With the announcement from the Ministry of Manpower that they are recalibrating the inflow of foreign workers, I think companies must look really hard on how to make better use of the older workers,” the minister concluded.


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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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