Applying a broad brush to lay the blame on old age is something which needs to change.

In the light of Singapore's recently-released population road map - which postulates that there will be just two working adults supporting one elderly person in 2030 - the impetus to tap on the silver workforce is ever more relevant.

"While the Government is doing an excellent job caring for the old who are frail and unable to work, the more sustainable solution is to keep mature professionals, managers and executives aged 45 and above economically active as long as they can work," Ms Lim said.

Ms Ko said that with the Government's drive for productivity and a reduction in foreign manpower, coupled with fewer younger workers coming onstream because of a greying population, companies will have no choice but to tap on the mature workforce.

She reckoned that with better health and higher education, many people in their 50s and 60s today are just as effective as those in their 40s.

"Organisations with foresight will put in place various systems and structures to utilise the silver workforce. The earlier companies (do it), the better. It will give them an edge," said Ms Ko.

To create an elderly-friendly workplace, firms should promote a culture in which everyone is aware that people are hired based on competency, and not age, said Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of corporate services at HR consultancy The GMP Group.

Simple gestures such as increasing the font size of words or simplifying technological gadgets can make the workplace more conducive to older employees, he said.

Mature workers should "project an active persona in their resumes" and highlight how their past experiences are relevant today, if they want to better their chances of being hired, said Mr Goh. Displaying a willingness to learn and being adaptable to technological advances are also advantageous.

Still, there will be hiring managers who have no qualms about showing their biases during the job interview.

In such cases, older jobseekers should not be disheartened but, instead, show their maturity in dealing with "tricky situations", said Mr Goh.


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