This morning @ 09:30, the Office for National Statistics published a report entitled Living Longer: Older workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are alert_responses from three experts in this field:
3 responses from the Newspage community
"Over-50s are the real casualties of the coronavirus crisis. We have seen a mass exodus of older workers, with companies haemorrhaging corporate memory, as employees leave with know-how gleaned over many years. "Older workers are an untapped goldmine of talent, with a wealth of experience, life skills and wisdom. "Employers should consider simple strategies ranging from targeted attraction campaigns and flexible roles to intergenerational learning, such as reverse mentoring, whereby more tech-savvy employees train older workers. "Research shows older workers take longer to ‘bounce back’ into work, for reasons ranging from plain ageism to a lack of re-skilling and flexible working opportunities. "Government policy should provide a ‘triple lock’ guarantee for older workers to prevent the birth of a ‘lost generation’. "The triple lock should provide older workers access to bespoke help to secure work and reskill, and deliver focused funding for employers who recruit older workers, similar to the Kickstart Scheme for younger workers."
"My largest group of redundant clients are people in their fifties and over. Not only are they concerned about finding work post-pandemic, but they are very aware that they are competing with younger people who are often more technically savvy and able to move for work. "Many older workers have been panicking and looking at the possibility of early retirement, but sadly this isn't an option for financial reasons. "Much of the work I have been doing is around encouraging people in this age group to take all the training and re-training they can find, especially if it adds technical skills to their repertoire. "I would say that older employees are probably the ones best suited to a hybrid model of working. They no longer have small children and can get on with their work from home with the space and peace and quiet to perform well. "They have learned their craft so don't need that 'learning by osmosis' that younger people often do. They can just get on with it. They also have years of business wisdom and people skills behind them. Companies just need to recognise this. "If someone older is lacking some tech skills, it's vital to remember that these can be learned (and you can buddy them up with someone to teach them these on the job). What cannot be taught is all those years of experience."
"When you consider the huge amount of funding and focus that has gone into the younger generation in terms of the Kickstart and various apprenticeship schemes, there does appear to be a huge gap in initiatives that cater for this potentially forgotten generation. "There is clearly a role for HR to play in this and any decent HR team will be the driver and custodian of a solid, progressive D&I policy that works with managers to ensure that this generation of older workers is not left behind culturally or technically. "With the recruitment market as competitive as it is, I do wonder if the Government has missed an opportunity in terms of providing grants for older workers for training in IT support and associated technologies. In this day and age, age should not be see as a barrier to progress in any company."