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Older workers are twice as likely to have had no training or development support in their current role as younger workers, according to new research.
Employers are doing less to support and encourage older workers to take up learning and development opportunities than they are for younger workers, according to new research.
The research, conducted by YouGov for Business in the Community [BITC], found that only one in five (21%) older workers (those aged 50-59) feel that their employer pushes them to upskill at work, compared to 56% of those aged 18-29.
When asked whether their employer has developed a clear training and development plan for them, only 16% of those aged 50-59 said that they had a clear plan in place for their development, compared to 38% of those aged 18-29. BITC says this shows that those aged over 50 are twice as likely to have had no training or development support in their current role.
When asked which skills were most important to develop, the research found that older workers who were looking to upskill were most interested in developing technical skills related to their current role (35%), digital skills (32%) and leadership skills (27%). In contrast, those aged 18-29 were most interested in developing leadership skills (41%), project management (34%) and effective communication (32%).
The research also found that one in five (22%) 50-59-year-olds believe that they do not have an equal opportunity to advance in their careers due to their personal circumstances or characteristics. This is in comparison to 15% of 18-29-year-olds.
Kate Carr, Employment and Skills Manager at Business in the Community, said: “It is crucial that employers support all workers, regardless of age, to learn and develop in their roles. With the news that the UK retirement age could soon increase to 68, employees in their early 50s will still have nearly 20 years left of their career and employers who fail to invest in developing the skills of this crucial talent pool could be missing a trick.
“With a record number of over 50s leaving the workplace since the pandemic, and skills shortages at an all-time high, employers should be doing everything they can to encourage and support their older employees to stay in work and investing in their development is a critical part of that.”