Attitudes to work and computer training : a survey of older work trainees and Canterbury employers.

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Theses / Dissertations
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Master of Arts
University of Canterbury. School of Educational Studies and Human Development
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Lin, Chia-Chun

The present research examined attitudes towards older workers, the ageing workforce and computer training. The sample comprised 29 Canterbury employers and 140 trainees from the Training Opportunities Programmes (TOPS) aged 19 to 69. The Questionnaire survey of Canterbury Employers was designed to obtain information about the impact an ageing workforce may have on businesses, the value of older workers and the influence of computer training in the workplace, as this has been seen as a significant issue in the employability of older workers. The Questionnaire survey of TOPS Trainees was compiled to obtain information about trainees' views on work and computer training. Both questionnaires were sent to the participants by post. Results indicated that Canterbury employers (N=29) did not envisage that there would be a significant impact on their organisations in the short term as a result of the ageing workforce, however, they expected positive influences of the ageing workforce on their organisations. Responses also showed that Canterbury employers valued the skills and attributes of their older workers and they were willing to provide computer training courses that were job-related. Older workers are regarded as having useful experiences, being loyal to the organisation, having low absenteeism and having a strong work ethic. Responses from TOPS trainees (N=140) were divided into two groups: the older trainees (40 years of age and older) and the younger trainees (less than 40 years old). 84% had previously been in full-time work. Older trainees had more work experiences, primarily as either labourers or office workers. Findings indicated there was no significant difference between older and younger trainees on the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) in terms of psychological health. On the Work Aspect Preference Scale (WAPS), older and younger trainees differed significantly in the Life Style, which measures the effect that employment might have on where and how one lives, and Altruism, which measures a concern for assisting others. Although older trainees were found to have less computer experience than younger trainees did, they appeared to attend more computer training classes and generally had better attitudes towards computers.

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Copyright Chia-Chun Lin