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Employers need to give the ageing workforce more of a chance, expert says

Statistics New Zealand figures show 140,000 people over 45 years are being underutilised.

Kate Ross, the founder of the website Wise Ones, for people looking to work over 45, says we already have a shortage of workers so we need to utilise the ones we have already got.

"There are a lot of people in the 45 plus age bracket who aren't being utilised but could be.  We have a shortage out there of people to fill roles and there's a large sector of the market that we feel need to be tapped into," Ms Ross told TVNZ1's Breakfast.

"It could be anything part-time, full-time, community work, volunteer work, they want to give back, they want to be a part of the economy and they want to be active.  It's important that we keep them in the market and keep them employed," she says.

Ms Ross says employers need to be more open to giving these people opportunities.

"People need to be more confident and employers need to be giving these people opportunities and be more open about how they can resource."

Chief executive of Apprenticeship Training Trust Helen Stevens told Breakfast they hire a lot of people over the age of 45.

"A lot of the more mature people are able to mentor and manage our apprentices and they do a great job in that space."

"In our support team we have over 50 per cent over 45 and we have another 30 per cent over the age of 40 so we find they're fabulous to have in those roles," Ms Stevens says.

"At the end of the day you've got a great set of life skills so you'll be able to add value to the business."

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Kate Ross says people in the 45 plus age bracket are being underutilised. Source: Breakfast