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. Those figures estimate that over 50s will make up one third of the working age population by 2020.
The UK workforce is ageing and fewer young people are entering the labour market. As a result employers will increasingly need to rely on the skills and experience of older workers. This will ensure they remain competitive, increase productivity and growth, and avoid future skills shortages.
To address this growing need, the National Careers Service is offering a bespoke service to support employers to manage existing staff and recruit an older workforce.
The National Careers Service will support employers to explore flexible working practices that benefit an older workforce. Flexible practices can encourage staff retention and help them to progress. They also improve work-life balance. 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. These include a skills health check, a mid-life career review and exploration of options. Information about short courses and Apprenticeships, including Higher Apprenticeships, is also available.
The National Careers Service also offers support to individuals who may be facing redundancy, or who are looking for work. The service can be accessed free of charge by any adult online, face-to-face or over the phone.
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 workers’ 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 recognise the value of their growing older workforce. We want to ensure that employers’ working cultures and practices are inclusive as a result 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: email@example.com
The National Careers Service offers free, professional information, advice and guidance to all citizens in England. The National Careers helpline is available every day from 8am to 10pm. Individuals looking for support with career or training choices or finding work, can contact 0800 100 900; or access the service via the webchat.