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Employing Older Workers

21st November 2023

Many sectors are currently struggling with staff shortages and there are approximately 10 million people in the across the UK who are out of work. There are a number of initiatives in place to attract young people into work such as traineeships and graduate schemes, however with over 1 million of those not in work over 50, what are we doing to attract older workers? The talent, skills and experience that people over 50 can bring is an area that all businesses should be looking at when trying to fill their gaps in the workforce, to provide a multi-generational workplace.

What can businesses gain from employing older workers?

  • Reliability and Retention
  • Knowledge and experience
  • Leadership and mentoring
  • Decision making
  • Networks and connections

A recent study by the DWP highlights the above 5 areas as the key benefits raised by businesses taking part, for employing older workers. Recruitment processes are key to ensure advertising and application methods appeal across all age groups to provide a balance within the organisation where everyone benefits. This includes the use of language and where the jobs are advertised 

There are a number of initiatives that businesses can introduce to attract and support older workers.  These can include:

  • Flexible working
  • Hybrid working
  • Over 50’s champions
  • In house training
  • Apprenticeships are no longer just for young people and can be an excellent way to keep older workers engaged as well as filling skills gaps within the organisation.
  • Employee Assistance and Well-being programmes

Older, mature workers are therefore key to a diverse workforce and one that is representative of the population. Offering new perspectives and sharing their experience they are key in mentoring and developing their younger colleagues, bringing with them a unique set of skills and qualities to really enhance your business.

Lesley Riney – HR Manager (Recruitment) – North Somerset Council

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