My letter to The Straits Times on the above matter is published today, Saturday 18th October 2014.
Most certainly, the move by the public service to rehire civil servants up to the age of 67 is a step in the right direction (“Public service takes lead in raising rehiring age to 67”; Oct 3).
With this bold change, workers who are gainfully employed will not lose key social support.
It is vital for seniors to receive the support and encouragement of a network of colleagues and friends, in order to continue leading meaningful lives.
Interaction with others keeps them engaged and involved in life’s journey. Sharing their human situation can help them better understand themselves and create meaningful relationships.
Moreover, when older workers have a steady job, they will be financially secure and be better able to socialise. If they are not gainfully employed, chances are, loneliness will creep in and they may face health issues like depression.
Employers who are sceptical about hiring older workers because they fear incurring extra medical costs should realise that people who have a job will be able to stay healthy in body, mind and spirit.
I am also encouraged by the Government’s shift to allow non-degree holders, many of whom are older workers with vast work experience, to have the same career opportunities as degree holders.
Undoubtedly, this move will allow diligent and hard-working non-degree holders who have the skills and experience to move up the corporate ladder.
Many of our senior workers may not possess degrees, but with their wealth of experience, they can be mentors to younger workers. Such mentors ought to be given the opportunity to contribute to the economy and even move up the corporate ladder.
What is needed for increased productivity is for all workers – young and old – to have the right attitudes, commitment, dedication, skills and professionalism.
Raymond Anthony Fernando