There is an extensive and growing research literature, particularly in the psychology and management disciplines, concerning ‘bridge employment’ which, it is argued, is increasingly occurring between the end of a career job and full retirement. However, this area is undertheorised and lacking a long view in terms of an appreciation of the wider literature concerned with work and retirement, in particular being informed by the political economy and lifecourse perspectives. Bridging the gap between work and retirement is of current concern as governments push out the ages at which people work and retire, with retirement, once considered the moral foundation of social welfare systems, being refashioned as a kind of unemployment. This chapter takes a critical stance on what we describe as the new retirement and the concept of bridge employment, questioning the motives for the emergence of the former and the latter’s utility for researchers and policymakers as a lens through which to view the evolution of work–retirement transitions.
A combination of age and gender factors shape older women’s workplace experiences. Age advocacy groups, together with many academic commentators, argue in favor of workplace flexibility, pointing to benefits for both older workers and their employers. But knowledge about the policies of organizations and how they are enacted by managers is still rudimentary. What do managers understand flexibility to mean and how do they implement flexible working options? What are the perceived benefits and costs of flexibility for organizations and for older women workers? Drawing on qualitative interviews conducted with 58 human resource managers, this article considers the provision of flexible working arrangements targeting older women in Australia within 3 industry sectors: financial services, public sector, and higher education. Interviews revealed a gap between policy and practice regarding the management of older women workers. We argue that the efficacy of line managers and their willingness to innovate are crucial in managing such workers and prolonging their working lives.
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"In Australia and South Africa, as in many other states, an important aspect of higher education policy entails initiatives to broaden participation among under-represented student groups. In response, universities have developed pathways to higher education that aim to attract, prepare and retain students from increasingly diverse backgrounds. In order to do this, it is important to develop an informed understanding of how these students experience university. Student voices in transition : the experiences of pathways students explores how previously under-represented students perceive university and learn to successfully adapt. Student voices in transition reports the voices of students who entered university through access pathways at Monash University in Australia and South Africa. It provides insight into why these students sought university qualifications, how they adjusted to university study, the challenges they faced and the rewards they experienced. It identifies the issues faced by commencing university students, particularly those who have past experiences of modest academic achievement, and what the transition to university actually involves, regardless of how it is reported by experts, lecturers or institutions."--Back cover.
Job opportunities for older workers in the residential care sector are strong so there appears to be little age discrimination against them in recruitment, but it has been recognised that in the workplace age- and gender-based stereotyping challenges the efficacy of age management and generates intergenerational issues. This article focuses on the ageing of the female-dominated workforce in an Australian residential care organisation. Firstly, it argues age-based discriminatory practices are not only directed towards older workers but may also affect younger workers. Secondly, it argues older workers are not only the victims of discrimination but may discriminate against both younger and older co-workers. In doing so, they may draw on perceptions of age, gender and other attributes, including skills, qualifications and status in the organisational hierarchy. The potential policy implications of this complexity of age prejudices in terms of labour shortages and inclusive management practices are briefly discussed.
In recent decades there has been a shift in labor market public policy from a culture of early retirement to one centered on hiring older workers, i.e., those aged over 50. The culture of early exit flourished in most major industrialized economies until the 1990s. Previously, older workers who left the workforce prematurely were regarded to be early retirees rather than unemployed. Their joblessness ended not with their reentering the workforce but transferring to pensions (Casey and Laczko 1989). Subsequently, there has been a policy shift towards prolonging working lives that has been generated by population aging in general as well as the aging of workforces in specific industry sectors, such as nursing and teaching.
As with other industrialized nations Australia's population is aging and older workers are encouraged to work for longer. At the same time, Australia's university sector, which is aging, is being reconfigured through changes that potentially marginalize its older workers as higher education institutions try to become more competitive in a global market. In this context, youthfulness appears to embody competitiveness and academic institutions are increasingly aspiring to a young workforce profile. This qualitative article builds on previous research to explore to what extent ageist assumptions shape attitudes to older workers and human resource management (HRM) practices within Australian universities even when HRM practitioners are well versed in antidiscrimination legislation that (unlike the Age Discrimination in Employment Act in the United States) applies to workers of all ages. Semistructured interviews conducted with 22 HRM practitioners in Australian universities reveal that university HRM practices generally overlook the value of retaining an older workforce by conflating "potential" with "youthfulness," assuming that staff potential and performance share a negative correlation with age. While mostly lower-ranked institutions have attempted to retain older academics to maintain an adequate labor supply, this study finds that university policies targeting the ongoing utilization of older workers generally are underdeveloped. Consequently, the availability of late career employment arrangements is dependent upon institutions' strategic goals, with favorable ad hoc solutions offered to academics with outstanding performance records, while a rhetoric of performance decline threatens to marginalize older academic researchers and teachers more generally.
Student voices in transition reports the voices of students who entered university through access pathways at Monash University in Australia and South Africa. It provides insight into why these students sought university qualifications, how they adjusted to university study, the challenges they faced and the rewards they experienced. It identifies the issues faced by commencing university students, particularly those who have past experiences of modest academic achievement, and what the transition to university actually involves, regardless of how it is reported by experts, lecturers or institutions."--Back cover.