Upskilling over 45s for a career in tech

McKinsey’s Generation programme has found widespread ageism in the recruitment field, but is also looking to upskill over 45s for roles in the tech sector.

hybrid working technology


Misperceptions around older people’s ability to learn new skills, particularly technology skills, is holding back older job candidates, according to a new study by the McKinsey-founded independent non-profit Generation.

Generation conducted global research on mid-career workers, surveying more than 1,400 hiring managers and 3,800 job seekers and workers. It found stark ageist attitudes in relation to hiring of candidates over 45 across every country they surveyed.

But the research also revealed that managers rank these workers the same or higher on job performance than employees a decade younger.

The Generation programme is committed to the recognition that reskilling midcareer workers is a critical aspect to helping businesses and communities achieve more inclusive growth.

Generation Singapore, for example, has been retraining older workers since 2018.  Its most recent initiative, #GetReadySG, launched with Microsoft, is training 1000+ unemployed people – 40 percent of whom are mid-career workers – with little or no tech experience for entry-level jobs in the industry. These include positions in cloud support and DevOps, business intelligence and data analytics and full-stack development. By the end of this year, the programme expects to have prepared some 500 of its participants for job placement.

The government subsidises training for citizens, a key aspect of the programmes success.  The curriculum is shaped by the organisation’s more than 50 employer partners and includes guidance for developing both hard tech capabilities and soft skills: behaviours and mindsets. The programme starts with an intensive, three-month boot camp specific to a tech role followed by up to six months of apprenticeship with a company.

Each student works with a mentor, receives training in interview skills and cv writing and participates in employer networking events.

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