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Research
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Recent and current research undertaken by BWA includes:

REDESIGNING WORK FOR AN AGEING SOCIETY

BWA was recently awarded substantial funding for this project (2005-2008) under the ARC Linkages scheme. Other academic partners are the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, University of New South Wales and Queensland University of Technology. Industry Partners include Australia Post, Qantas, RACV, CRS Australia, WorkCover Corporation SA and the Department of Industrial Relations Queensland.

Background

The proposal aims to identify and manage occupational risks and vulnerabilities that challenge the retention of ageing workers in Australia. The project will examine and adapt a leading international framework for managing ageing workforces, the Finnish 'Work Ability' model, to the Australian context. The model will be applied in three companies, two large-scale national companies and one smaller company.  The main outcomes will be both practical organisational guidelines and a broad policy framework for increasing the work ability of older workers, in Australia and internationally.

The project consists of four phases:

Stage 1 will examine workplace risks and vulnerabilities of the ageing workforce through secondary statistical analyses of rich essential large-scale data sets

Stage 2 will consist of qualitative and quantitative surveys in case study organisations which will explore the nature of workplace age barriers and correlates of work ability

Stage 3 will consist of design, implementation and monitoring of interventions

Stage 4 will consist of a ‘post’ intervention measurement of work ability and further follow up qualitative interviews among managers and workers.

Phase 1 which will commence towards the end of 2005 is presented in more detail.

Phase 1 has three aims which are to:

(i) Build an overview of the occupational health and safety risks and vulnerabilities of ageing workers (according to industry sector, occupation, types of injuries, total days compensated and costs);

(ii) Identify and develop large-scale data sets on ageing workforces including data on work injuries, disability and pathways to retirement;

(iii) Undertake more finely grained analysis of these data sets to inform implementation of the research in the organisational case studies.

Future intentions

The project intends to collaborate, leverage and contribute to data base synergies across government and other agencies.  It will engage in multidisciplinary data capacity building across fields including ageing, employment, occupational health and safety, disability, health and retirement. This should lead to opportunities to build capacity through developing data bases in work and ageing.

Assoc Prof Libby Brooke, Director, Business Work and Ageing Research Centre. Swinburne University. email: lbrooke@swin.edu.au 0392145949.

Redesigning Work for and Ageing Society Fact Sheets

What is the RW4AS Project?

The Business Case for the Project.

Information Resources.

What is Work Ability?

WANE

Workforce Ageing In the New Economy, an international project funded by the Canadian government.
www.wane.ca

  • Furthering Success: Vocational Education and Training Pathways of Older Disadvantaged Workers, funded by the Australian government.
  • Recruitment Processes and Older Job Candidates, funded by the South Australian government.
  • Attachment and Retention of Workers in the Victorian Public Service, funded by the Victorian government
  • Cost to the Nation of Early Retirement.
  • HRM Cost Benefits of Older Workers
  • Age Limits, a report conducted on behalf of the Victorian, South Australian and Western Australian Equal Opportunity Commissions investigating the incidence and impact of age discrimination on the employment of people over the age of 45.
  • An Australian Analysis of Trends Affecting Workers Over the Age of 45 Years.
  • Profiting From Maturity, an international literature review, and case studies of the experiences of displaced older workers.

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