Mayor touts seniors to solve labour shortage

Brantford city hall File photo / Brantford Expositor

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Seniors could be a key to helping solve the local labour shortage, suggests Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis.

Speaking at an operations and administration committee meeting this week, Davis said that despite a record-breaking jobless rate in the city, dropping last month to the lowest this century, many area employers continue to say they are having difficulty filling jobs because they don’t have enough applicants.

“I’ve been thinking about what we can do to address the shortage,” said Davis. “Seniors, some who have retired early, may want to return to the workforce. How can we help them do that?”

Aaron Wallace, director of strategic planning and community partnerships, said older adults often don’t think they are eligible for programs and services that would help them get back into the workforce.

Brantford is attracting a higher than average senior population because of the city’s lower housing prices and a growing reputation as an age-friendly community, said the mayor.

“Seniors are a great resource.”

Within the next 20 years, more than one quarter of Brantford residents will be aged 65 or older.

In 1918, council approved Healthy Aging: The City of Brantford’s Age-Friendly Plan, a three-year plan based on the World Health Organization’s eight domains for an age-friendly city, including outdoors spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social inclusion and employment.

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