The Federal Government’s 2015 Inter generational Report paints a sobering picture of Australia in 2054-55. Too far ahead for many to ponder but “life expectancy at birth in 2054-55 is projected to be 95.1 years for men and 96.6 years for women” (2015 Intergenerational report p.vii).
The report states that ” ‘active ageing’ presents great opportunities for older Australians to keep participating in the workforce and community for longer” (ibid p.viii).
Of concern too, is that the AMP NATSEM (National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling) report that states that Australia’s youth unemployment is 27.2% and is 4.5 times higher than the rest of the population (ABC news website,Business reporter Michael Janda, 17 Nov 2014).
The ABS (Australian Bureau of Stastics) estimates the current seasonally adjusted unemployment rate Australia for February 2015 is 6.3% (ABS website, Labour Force, Australia, Feb 2015) .
The above statistics coupled with the displacement of workers through technological advances, robots “taking over menial as well as not so menial work” and the general slowing down of some global economies, calls for rethinking about what work will look like for the current Gen Y, Gen X and indeed Baby boomers in the years to come.
Jeremy Rifkin in his thought provoking book “The End of Work” published in 1995, stated that the “world is fast polarizing into two potentially irreconcilable forces; on one side, an information elite that controls and manages the high-tech global economy; and on the other, the growing numbers of permanently displaced workers, who have few prospects and little hope for meaningful employment in an increasingly automated world”.
That was predicted 20 years ago – and how true and worrying it is. The statistics prove the need for rethinking work and its new form.
Can entrepreneurship be the answer for some?
Should people be banking on the traditional forms of employment – working for someone else or for companies that are looking for ways to reduce the workforce – or take control of their destinies?
I believe the time has come for individuals from all generations to ponder the possibility of working for themselves and offering their unique services and skills either through consultancy services or contracting.
One should not be thinking of a “working for one company” strategy, but “working for multiple companies” strategy, and offering different skills to different companies or individuals.
This allows for longevity in work and one can continue working well into the twilight years without facing the judgmental voices of “when is this person going to retire or move on so that I can move into their role?”. Every generation will face this question.
It is a powerful and liberating feeling, with its share of challenges, but certainly worth considering. Business Transformation Solutions (BTS) was created 2 years ago based on the above entrepreneurial concept and hopes to create a model for others to consider. So far it has been an exciting journey.
If the future is a life expectancy of 95.1 years for men, and 96.6 for women, no government can ever be able to support any pension scheme and the current superannuation model is not sustainable with such life expectancies.
One needs to take control of life now.
Is it time to think about it?
Welcome to the journey.