Employers should step up training and upskilling opportunities to address a “confidence crisis” among older workers, according to Aegon.
A study by the pension provider revealed that 15% of 50- to 59-year-olds who are currently in work feel their skills and experience are irrelevant. Furthermore, the number almost quadruples for those in their 50s who have stopped work even temporarily (54%).
According to Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, the research highlights a “huge crisis in confidence” among over-50s, including those who have been out of the workforce but want to return to work. He added that the research “reinforces concerns that we can all fall into the trap of being closed to new work opportunities”.
Aegon’s study pointed out that workplace norms, practices and skill sets may be very different today compared to when over-50s started out in their careers, and the accelerating rate of change – as seen with the increase in remote working – means day-to-day work is very different compared even to a few years ago.
For over-50s, “the new world of work may be daunting, and an early retirement may seem like the only viable option”.
Cameron said: “The fast pace of change, including in the way we work created by the pandemic, has led to this group of individuals in particular feeling detached or closed off from employment opportunities.”
He added: “Government and employers need to wake up to this so these vital skills and experience can be used for the benefit of individuals, businesses and the UK economy.”