A ticking time-bomb – the importance of training workers at all ages
Skills built up over many years are of huge value to any business. So, keeping and investing in experienced older workers is vital for competitiveness.
It’s even more important now because population trends mean that, by 2022, there’ll only be half the young people we need to fill the amount of job opportunities we have to fill.
With pension changes persuading people to extend their working lives, you have a major opportunity to capitalise on all of that know-how, while heading off the looming shortage of available staff.
Benefits of investing in skills
Investing to upskill workers of any age makes a big difference to the success of your business. That includes apprentices or those in early career but should also involve skilled and experienced older staff who form the backbone of the workforce.
Some employers fear trained staff may leave and take their skills elsewhere. But failing to train creates a bigger risk because frustrated staff are more likely to move on and drain the business of a vital resource. And older staff are more likely to stay with you anyway.
With less young talent coming into the workforce you can’t afford to lose skilled and experienced people.
What should I do about the looming worker shortage
The answer of course is to ensure you hold onto your older workers longer and continue to develop their skills.
It is estimated that within five years a third of the working age population in Wales will be aged over 50 and as they reach traditional retirement age there will be fewer young people to replace them.
Due to pension changes someone in their 50s could have many working years ahead of them. It’s up to you as their employer to make the most of that by investing to make these workers as productive as possible and ensure they pass on their skills to younger colleagues.
What can I do to persuade skilled older workers to stay
- Make sure your recruitment processes are suited to all ages
- Create an age-positive multi-generational workplace
- Include all ages in your skills development plans
- Examine your own workforce to see how dependent you are on older workers
- Provide flexible options that make it easier for older workers to stay longer; for example a phase retirement, part-time or flexible hours,
- Challenge your own perceptions and think creatively about how your business could work differently
- Tailor a job role to lessen the physical work that may hinder older workers
- Give older workers roles in passing their skills and experience on to younger colleagues.
IT'S TIME to invest in your older workers
Call the Business Wales Helpline on 03000 6 03000, contact us or read the below recommendation reports.