I’d have to say that it might not be that farfetched that older talented workers are leaving and not being replaced by equally as skilled workers. I retired as a Chief Information Security Officer about a year and a half ago from a smaller agency and from what I’ve heard, they still have not filled my position. A year before I left the agency hired another security person to handle incident response however, the indvidual did not have the right characteristics to manage a full information assurance program. The agency did offer him the position but he was wise enough to know that the position was beyond his skill set since he was operationally, not managerially, competent so he turned it down.
I’ve moved on to do consulting work with some of the federal agencies and I’ve been rather appalled at some of the people who are in high positions who lack the long time knowledge and managerial skills that I acquired over 30 years serving in the government. It seems in some agencies, those that have back filled older workers with much younger workers who have moved up very quickly in their careers and have missed the maturing process that many in my generation learned over time. I know this is not always the case in every agency since I still have many friends still working in government. I would have to say that some agencies are suffering from the older workers departing to soon. In my own case, the management asked what it would take to keep me and I simply told them that I wanted a substantial increase which they refused so there was nothing left to negotiate.
I have seen some quality younger members of the workforce that are coming on-board, however, there is a maturing process in developing that talent to its capability that is often missed.