The National Careers Service is appealing to over 50s and businesses to take advantage of its free advice and guidance service. This follows recently published figures from the Department for Work and Pensions, which estimate that individuals aged 50+ will make up almost one third of the working age population by 2020.
As the UK workforce ages and fewer young people enter the labour market, employers will increasingly need to rely on the skills and experience of older workers if they are to remain competitive, increase productivity and growth, and avoid skills shortages in the future.
To address this growing need, the National Careers Service is offering a bespoke service to support employers to manage, upskill existing staff and recruit an older workforce.
The National Careers Service will support employers to explore flexible working approaches and practices that encourage retention, in-work progression, improved work-life balance and improved productivity of staff aged 50+. Professional Careers advisers can also work with employers to ensure older workers have the same opportunities for learning and career progression.
In addition, employees can be provided with in-depth information, advice and guidance sessions on a variety of subjects, including a skills health check; mid-life career review and exploration of options, information about short courses/units; and information about Apprenticeships, including Higher Apprenticeships.
The National Careers Service also offers tailored support to individuals who may be facing redundancy, or who are currently seeking work. The service can be accessed free of charge by any adult online, face-to-face or over the telephone.
Debbie Lloyd, Assistant Director of the National Careers Service in the south-east region, said: “Supporting older workers to remain in work is critical to meeting the country’s future labour market needs. Remaining in work can also have a positive effect on individuals’ wellbeing, and helps people save more money for retirement. Yet despite this, around one million older people are involuntarily out of work.
“The National Careers Service wants to help employers to recognise the value of their growing older workforce and ensure that their working cultures and practices are inclusive and don’t disadvantage older workers. The National Careers Service can help support employers and their workers with this – and best of all, it’s free!”
If you are an employer looking to get involved, you can contact the National Careers Service in your area directly on 01233 224244, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org