28 Jul 2015

Balance needed between old and new in Cooks

7:51 pm on 28 July 2015

The Cook Islands Workers Association says compulsory retirement may drive out a valuable knowledge base.

Cabinet will consider introducing compulsory retirement in the public service at the age of 60, and voluntary retirement at age 55 to create opportunities for younger Cook Islanders.

The Association's president, Anthony Turua, says depopulation is a constant concern and he can see the merit in the change.

But he says a balance between retaining experienced workers and newer employees is needed.

"If we do have younger people coming on board, then there needs to be some sort of capacity building, because a lot of the older people that are still working still have that experience, still perform, and I'm a bit concerned that if they do implement that, that it could take away a lot of our older, experienced, workers out of the workforce and it needs to be fair and equitable."

Anthony Turua says depopulation is a complex issue and higher wages also need to be considered to stem the flow of people to higher paying jobs overseas.