June 19, 2024

Finding a future for the ‘Forgotten 55s’ in the Covid era

Punter Southall Aspire  is calling on employers to take a different direction when it comes to supporting older workers, as the COVID-19 pandemic apparently sees them disproportionately bearing the brunt of redundancy.

CEO, Steve Butler highlights the need for a more creative approach as new figures reveal that the numbers of unemployed over 50s has increased by a third in a year, according to analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) by over 50s web site, Rest Less[i].

Steve recommends that employers carry out Midlife Career reviews to stimulate conversation with employees about next steps, second careers and flexible career solutions. These should focus on mid to long-term plans and consider a person’s situation holistically: reflecting on their financial situation, work aspirations and their wellbeing.

This approach has been given extra impetus by the findings from No Desire to Retire, a recruiter for older workers, which found 85% were neutral or negative about their current job. When asked what would help their job prospects, just under a third (30%) said they were interested in having a career coach or undergoing a ‘Mid-Life Review’.

Latest employment ONS figures[ii] suggest the coronavirus pandemic is impacting both younger and older workers disproportionately with employment levels for those aged 16-24 and over 65 having fallen by 7% (343,000) compared to a 0.5% fall for those aged 25-64.

Steve Butler says, “Employers should be engaging with their older workers by carrying out Midlife Career reviews to enable them to have the best outcomes in what will be challenging times ahead due to the pandemic.

“The main objective is to retain the talent and experience of older people by identifying the right pathway to meet their needs and aspirations and help them plan their retirement. If done correctly, the Midlife Review can mean that the last ten or twenty years of a person’s working life is their most productive and rewarding. At a time when there is so much uncertainty, offering financial and career support is something most older workers will appreciate.”

Steve recently published a new book, ‘Midlife Review: A guide to work, wealth and wellbeing’ written with Tony Watts OBE, offering business leaders, managers and employees guidance to help them understand and support ‘midlife’ workers.

Steve has also published, Manage the Gap: Achieving success with intergenerational teams giving employers valuable insight and advice for managing an age diverse workforce.

For more information visit: www.psaspire.com