Sunday, January 25, 2009

United Kingdom: Research Suggests Older Workers a Key During Economic Downturn

Research commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council is being used to urge West Midlands employers to take full advantage of the skills and experience of older workers (those aged 50 to 70) during the economic downturn. According to "Labour Market and Training Experiences of Older Workers in the West Midlands ", employers are increasingly aware of the benefits of older job applicants when searching for recruits with personal qualities such as loyalty, experience and reliability. In addition, older workers provide employers with practical advantages such as better retention, fewer training needs, and fewer family and childcare commitments.

Among other findings of the research study:
  • the older people are, the more likely they are to have no qualifications. Nearly 60% of people aged 60 to 64 have no qualifications, a proportion that rises steadily from 26% among those aged between 40 and 44;
  • although most employed older workers had a positive attitude to work, this was balanced by reservations about stress and excessive paperwork;
  • a large proportion of employed participants believed that larger employers offer more advantages to older workers, including clearer progression routes and better policies on issues such as flexible working and job-sharing.
Source: West Midlands Learning and Skills Council Press Release (January 23, 2009)

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