Over 55s set to continue to fuel the UK’s employment growth in 2020

A new year often sees many employees evaluating their career, often leading to a search for a new job or taking steps to address a new work/life balance.

It’s often thought, and reported, that this ‘new year, new job’ ethos is restricted to graduates or millennials. But with research showing that a record number of people in the UK are choosing to work longer, 2020 could be the year of the more ‘mature and established’ employee.

According to Aviva, the over 50s fuelled 90 per cent of the country’s employment growth during 2018-2019. Many people are working longer out of necessity, and an increasing number of over 55 are also eager to progress their career, advance and improve their skills and even start their own business.

Here at Anne Corder Recruitment, we recognise that there is a growing trend for people to stay in the workplace longer – and from employers who are keen to retain experienced, long-serving and talented staff.

Our recruitment partner, Nel Woolcott, recently gave her thoughts on the topic, to help both businesses and employees make the most of the opportunities that come from this older demographic.

Nel said: “The workplace is most definitely a different place than it was even just 10 years ago. As we enter a new decade, the trend for people to work later into life, or even looking for a career change into their fifties, is set to continue.

“Many people are becoming more personally accountable for their own work/life balance; this could be for relatively basic reasons, such as a desire to channel their skills and experience in a new direction, or that their school-run duties are no longer required as children have grown up.

“For employers, this presents a wealth of benefits, including attracting people with an already-sound work ethic; those who have the confidence and experience to take on any task and succeed.

“There is much to be gained mutually for employer and employee. Many bosses are keen to retain and reward staff of a high calibre, regardless of age – and the member of staff can, in turn, reap the benefits of incentives like flexible working and performance related rewards.”

Insights into the study (conducted by Aviva January 2019 of 2,020 adults):

  • Nearly one in five (18%) workers aged 55-59 years were planning to move jobs to progress their career
  • The thought of moving jobs to progress career was found to be less appealing to workers aged 60 plus. However, nearly one in ten survey respondents aged 60 to 64 said they are planning to do just that.
  • Over 55s were also found to be eager to learn new skills and advance their existing skills; more than a third (37%) of workers aged 55-59 said they are planning to take advantage of training offered by their employer; one in five (19%) wanted to start/continue a course or qualification to improve their skills, independent of their current job, and 14% are job-shadowing in another team/department to gain more skills and experience.
  • There was an expectation of a rise of ‘grey entrepreneurs’ as one in ten workers aged 55-59 said they were planning to launch their own business either as a side venture or main source of income.

Here at Anne Corder Recruitment, we recognise the huge value in experienced, older workers, and we’re keen to hear from anyone who wants support making the next move in their career.