This week the North East LEP held an event with the CIPD North East on unlocking the value of the older workforce – the first of its kind in the UK. Here our Skills Director Michelle Rainbow reports back.
Retrain, regain and retain – three words which are already critical to the success of every organisation.
With an ageing population; fewer younger people entering the labour market; and a drop in the number of skilled workers entering the country due to Brexit, it is more important than ever that employers look to the over 50s to help them drive their businesses forward.
And this is why the North East LEP held an event for employers investigating how those aged over 50 can help them succeed.
The government sees the older workforce as a priority
Here at the North East LEP we have long been advocating the Fuller Working Lives approach set by the Government, which sees the UK’s ageing workforce as an economic priority.
It’s a critical area for action. According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) employers are aware in general of an ageing population, but an ageing workforce is not yet a prominent concern and only few employers are taking active steps to change their policies and practices to take this into account.
NIESR’s 2017 findings that having more older workers does not impact on workplace financial performance or quality of outputs will play a key part in challenging bias and increasingly the appeal of this valuable talent pool.
It makes commercial sense
There are a range of benefits to employing and retaining older workers, from increased loyalty and productivity to lower recruitment costs as staff churn reduces.
It doesn’t stop there though. Age diverse workplaces benefit from a range of experiences, ideas and ways of thinking. As one of our panelists Di Keller from Sage plc noted, diversity of age is critical if an organisation is to offer products and services relevant to their audiences.
Get involved with our pilot
We expect interest and engagement with the Fuller Working Lives agenda to continue to rise. In light of this, the North East LEP is working with the DWP and National Careers Service (NCS) to explore how the NCS could provide individuals with better careers and skills advice and how this might have an impact on the retention, retraining and recruitment of workers aged 50 and over.
Participating employers will have free access to help and assistance, including an on-site visit designed to help them manage and skill an ageing workforce – and much more.
If you’d like more information about how the pilot could benefit your business, please contact Jill Greatorex at NCS on 0191 731 4750 – all you have to do is quote North East LEP when you call.