"Over 50? Why not become a takeaway delivery driver?" That seemed to be the message this week from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride. And while at face value it might seem unrealistic and insulting, there is a strong argument for thinking outside the box when it comes to a career move in your 50s, 60s or beyond.
After all, just because you were always an accountant, or in sales, it doesn't mean that has to be your 'forever job'.
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Stride said on a visit to Deliveroo that those over 50 should think about jobs that might not have come to mind straightaway - to think outside the box. “There are loads of great opportunities out there for people and it’s of course good for people to consider options they might not have otherwise thought of.”
“What we’re seeing here is the ability to log on and off anytime you like, no requirement to have to do a certain number of hours over a certain period of time, which is driving huge opportunities . . . From an employer’s point of view in a tight labour market, it’s absolutely essential if you want to access all the available talent that you provide as flexible an offer as you can.”
The key point seems to be that there is a need for those in that older age group to be more open to flexible working – and those offering the work consider flexibility, too. But it’s quite the leap from logging on and off at different times to jumping on a bike to deliver takeaway.
Stride is 61, and said he had no plans to retire. However, he didn’t add whether he might take on a role as a delivery driver, either.