New figures released today from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that there are now 9.4 million continuing to work between the ages of 50- 74, 3.7 million more than there were 20 years ago. Employment Minister, Damian Hinds calls on businesses to create even more opportunities for older workers.
As the default retirement age has been abolished, older workers now have more choice about how and when they retire, along with the right to request flexible working for all employees. The figures released today show that over 1.1 million people are working beyond 65 years old. The figures also show the unemployment rate for people aged over 50 has dropped to 3.3%, the lowest level since 2009.
With many businesses already recognising the value of older workers, programmes such as Barclays’ ‘Bolder Apprentices’ scheme creates opportunities for people wanting to start a new career in later life. The Barclays Bolder Apprenticeship programme is designed to extend opportunities for apprenticeships across Barclays, specifically providing support for adults over the age of 24, with no age cap, wishing to get back into the workplace. Other firms, such as hospitality firm Whitbread, are also seeking the skills and knowledge of older workers.
Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: “It is clear that people over 50 aren’t slowing down or getting ready for retirement. I want to see businesses supporting this momentum while also reaping the benefits of the skills and expertise these older people can bring to the workplace.
“People in later life are increasingly looking to stay in work and it is important that more businesses look for ways to support them. Barclays’ initiative is a great example of how businesses can meet this growing demand.”
Mike Thompson, Director of Apprentices at Barclays, said: “At Barclays, having a multigenerational workforce is extremely important to us because our colleagues will reflect the customers we serve. Our Bolder Apprenticeships programme finds new opportunities for people who might have thought their careers were over. Barclays has benefited by expanding its talent pool, increasing brand value and gaining greater understanding of older customers’ needs.”
52 year old Lucille Galloway has felt the benefits of Barclays’ apprenticeship scheme. After a varied career, Ms Galloway entered the scheme and is now working as a Community Banker at the Barclays Ealing Broadway Branch.
Ms Galloway added: “I’ve learnt so much and feel like I’m continuing to gain new skills every day. I’d definitely recommend anyone who has the opportunity to take up an apprenticeship to go for it, particularly someone of my age who may be struggling to get back into a career or who is looking for a new challenge. It will be one of the best things they’ve ever done.”
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