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Yaffle your next project

Lisa Browne (centre) at the 2012 Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference.

By Rebecca Cohoe

Yaffle.ca is Memorial's online connecting tool. One of its most significant jobs is to provide a way for people from outside Memorial to ask for research help. With hundreds of community-suggested opportunities to choose from, your next project is just a click away. Here's one . . .

The opportunity:
Newfoundland and Labrador is an aging province, and combined with the federal government's recent changes to the Old Age Security Program, it looks like many of us will be working longer than we have in the past. According to Lisa Browne, a member of the rural secretariat for the Clarenville-Bonavista region, it's a trend she's already seeing.

"Anecdotally, I've been told about some older workers who are continuing in the workforce, not because they want a salary but because of the health benefits. This made me wonder about getting some numbers on the reasons why people decide to stay in the workforce."

With a significant older population and a mandate to provide a safe and supportive environment for seniors -- The Town of Clarenville has been designated as an age-friendly community -- Ms. Browne believes that further research makes sense.

The project:
There are a number of questions that Ms. Browne believes need to be answered. For example: "What contributes to people staying in the workforce longer?" The answer could impact decisions about senior-related services, but is also relevant when it comes to planning for the region's looming labour shortage. Ms. Browne is also interested in finding out more about the effect the extended careers of elderly residents might have on young people.

"Are the people who are staying in the workforce longer preventing younger people from moving back to the province to take those jobs?" she said.

According to Ms. Browne the sort of research carried out would depend on the prospective researcher's interests. Both quantitative and qualitative indicators could be looked at, she says. The local rural secretariat is supportive of the project and would offer advice and assistance as needed.

Interested in learning more about this project? Think you could help? Bojan Fürst, manager of knowledge mobilization at the Harris Centre, would love to tell you more. Call him at 709-864-2120 or email him at bfurst@mun.ca.

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