New initiative to support people aged 50+

By Amneet Kaur

A new initiative to support people aged 50 or over to remain in or re-enter the workforce is being delivered across the West Midlands.

The National Careers Service has launched the 50+ Futures Project after age discrimination was named as the biggest obstacle for getting back to work.

The initiative aims to highlight the benefits of recruiting people aged 50 or above.

Ranjit Sohal, Employer Engagement Manager at Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said people are having fewer and fewer children, which means by 2021 over 30 per cent of the UK population will be above 50 years old and by 2030 half of the population will be 50+.

Ranjit added: “Employers think it’s going be a struggle to train the older generation, they’re not going to be able to mould the person. People get discriminated because the image is that mature workers are set in their own ways, that’s not necessarily the case.

“They have many benefits for an organisation, mature workers are flexible, reliable, they also have a lot of life skills, which they can use in their work life.

“Many of the employees would think I’m actually at that age now, no one is going to hire me. We put it on perspective and say actually that’s not the case, you need to be focusing more at your current skill set.”

The latest research by revealed that a quarter of the 2,027 people surveyed in the UK said the biggest obstacle to getting a new job is their age and the role they apply for is often given to a younger candidate.

Nine per cent of the respondents said poor health had prevented them from getting a job, a further 11% admitted they can’t seem to find the right job to apply for, 11% revealed they keep going for interviews and not getting the job, 6% admitted they have lost their confidence and 6% are still confused about the job they want.

The National Careers Service will host a free networking on April 30 at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham.

Employers will share older workforce best practice and providers championing and advising on this area will also be showcasing what they do to employers, including free support from the National Careers Service. A keynote address will be delivered by a representative from Aviva, focusing on managing an ageing workforce.

For more information on the event contact Ranjit Sohal