A comprehensive programme with dedicated and well-trained faculty, and training in computers, Tally, and skill-based vocation helps thousands of elders reignite the lost spark, and reinvent a second career for themselves, to live a life of dignity and empowerment.
We frequently hear of job fairs for young adults, but it is very rare that a job fair for senior citizens is organised. As Bengaluru gears up for one such unique job fair for senior citizens that is being organised by Jobs60+, a project of the Nightingale Empowerment Foundation (NEF), we quite often hear people ask, “Why a job fair for senior citizens? Why do senior citizens need a job?”
A report titled Elderly in India – 2016, published by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, Govt. of India, revealed some very shocking numbers which will probably answer the questions. In rural India, 66 % of elderly men and 28 % of elderly women work for their survival; in urban India, 46 % of elderly men and 11 % of elderly women work.
“One of the major problems faced by the elderly today is financial insecurity. About 88 % of the aged in our country are not covered under any adequate social security schemes. Therefore, most of them are economically insecure and need to depend on their meagre savings or entirely on their children for sustenance. In the absence of any such support, many of them suffer loss of independence and self-dignity. But the truth is, many senior citizens of the age group 60-70 are physically fit and prepared to work and earn for their living. Utilizing their skills and experience, the society can also benefit,” adds Mike Shah, Chairman, Nightingale Empowerment Foundation.
“Unfortunately, our community is yet to recognize this as a social problem and come forward to provide opportunities for seniors to work and earn,” he says.
So, the job fair is being organised in a bid to connect healthy and employable retired senior citizens to potential employers. The NEF has successfully organised four job fairs in the past, through which 1,500 senior citizens were employed. Employers who recruited these senior citizens have responded with positive feedback. They have found that senior citizens constitute a loyal workforce, are more reliable, take their jobs very seriously, and have strong work ethics. Also, along their long career path, senior citizens have learnt some very valuable lessons, having had the experience of working with and for diverse people, and adapting to various work environments.
“When I heard about the senior citizens job fair, it was a mixture of surprise and curiosity. Surprise, because we had never heard of or seen senior citizens aged 60-70 applying for jobs, and curiosity, as we were not very sure if they would be able to take on the work pressure. We also had our doubts about the workability of the concept of ‘late-age employment’ working in our society. My company initially looked at a temp role for the seniors. After a fortnight, when I was reviewing the dashboards, I was shocked by the quality of work done by the seniors. It was both an eye-opener and a humbling experience, as I was pleasantly surprised to see that in many instances, they had moved ahead of the younger crowd (early 20s) in the organisation,” shares Dileep Satya, Director, Indium Projects.
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“So, naturally, corporates benefit from the immense experience and professionalism these seniors bring to the table,” he says, smiling.
Elders look for part-time/full-time jobs in administration, supervision, public relations, teaching, accountancy, clerical, insurance, marketing, etc. As employees, they become assets to educational institutions, industries, builders, gas agencies, convention halls, service organizations, and corporates.
“I am capable of handling the front office better than any trained receptionist,” GT Arasu announces confidently. Standing behind the books piled on his desk, 76-year-old GT Arasu is not apologetic about his age. He has been working in the front office of Hatti Kaapi for over three years. Arasu says that out of all his jobs, this one is his favourite.
He then quickly corrects himself (“second favourite”), the first being when he worked for Bharat Electronics Limited in 1970.
In view of changing trends, Jobs 60+ extends a one-month computer and soft-skills training programme to senior citizens. Apart from organising job fairs, it also runs a job portal for the benefit of senior citizens.
With the Karnataka Vocational Training and Skill Development Corporation Ltd., NEF is organizing a Mega Job Fair for Senior Citizens. The Fair is on 26th March, 2017 at Nalapad Pavilion, Gate No. 5, Palace Grounds, Bangalore. It is open between 10 AM to 4 PM.
Senior Citizens between 60-70, physically fit and in need of financial security, should participate in this fair. Bring five copies of CVs and two passport-size photographs.
Employers who are willing to employ these able senior citizens can participate in the fair. This is entirely a free service.
The Nightingales Medical Trust promotes the Nightingales Empowerment Foundation (NEF). The Foundation began in October 2011 to provide a financially independent life for healthy and employable retired elders. NEF enables these elders to re-enter the job market or get self-employment.