Workplace ageism still remains, with staff, older women in particular, facing barriers to promotion and training- according to a report published last year, titled 'A New Vision for Older Workers: Retain, Retrain, Recruit'.
However, the Government report also found that over 50s staying in the workforce creates more jobs for younger people and betters the economy - according to Business in the Community (BITC) over £80billion would be added to the UK economy if over 50s stayed in work.
BITC found that there are 3.3 million economically inactive people in the UK aged 50-64. Around one million of these have been made ‘involuntarily workless’ through redundancy, ill health or early retirement.
Outdated stereotypes, unconscious bias and age discrimination are still hindering businesses from harnessing this talent pool, which is why law firm, Allen & Overy has partnered with social enterprise MyKindaFuture to pilot a new employability programme for over 50s.
To help adults that have been unemployed for between six months and a year, the ReStart programme based in London, will encourage individuals to rediscover their strengths and build the knowledge, skills and confidence to get them back to work.
The programme will run over three months (starting in April 2017) and will include three masterclasses at Allen & Overy’s London offices, digital support through e-learning and mentoring. Applicants from all backgrounds and professions will be considered.
Partner and Owner of Allen & Overy, Maria Stimpson, spoke to us about the value of older workers, and why this mustn’t be overlooked by businesses: “Older workers are extremely valuable to businesses, as they bring with them greater life experience as well as diverse skillsets built up over a period of years in employment. Research shows that they are reliable, punctual and productive, and often have strong empathy and organisational skills.
“These attributes make them a valuable part of a multi-generational and diverse workforce. We also see them playing a key role helping companies to develop their future leaders by acting as mentors to those more junior than them.”