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Tech firms should look to over-50s to tackle the skills crisis

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Older workforce more likely to be made redundant

According to Darren Topping, Director of Solutions & Insights at Lorien, technology firms should look to embrace the skills of over 50-year-olds if they are to tackle skills shortages within the sector.

The call comes just as the Government has recently backed an initiative that aims to help the older workforce, with financial incentives on offer, to return to work.

On the back of this initiative, Lorien, part of Impellam Group, is urging more tech employers to consider the senior generations to tackle the crisis of skills within the wider industry. Since the start of the pandemic, those aged 50 and above have been more likely to be made redundant, and less likely to become reemployed. More than a third of workers in this bracket believe they have been disadvantaged at work because of their age and more than half believe their age meant they were less likely to receive job offers.

It’s reported that Lorien advised that, while technological competencies evolve, softer, interpersonal skills are evergreen, and more tech firms could leverage these values in order to tackle the talent shortages.

Darren Topping, Director of Solutions & Insight at Lorien, commented: “With many firms still struggling to find the right skills in the market post the peak in demand in 2021/2022 – and also failing to retain staff on a significant scale – it’s very surprising to see so few organisations actively target professionals from older generations. The over 50’s have a lot to offer firms. The communication, leadership and cooperative skills that many could bring to the table would help employers to tackle the talent shortages they’re currently facing. Age discrimination is, unfortunately, still a problem and with so much focus being channelled into ensuring firms can recruit the Gen-Z skills they need, far too few are looking to the more senior end of the workforce.”

“We know from our networks that numerous professionals who left the industry over the last few years – for a variety of reasons – are now looking for a way back in, and with retirement ages creeping up it makes logical sense for more employers to take on workers in the over 50’s age range and to benefit from the vast array of skills and experience that they can bring. With the four-day working week and flexible and hybrid working models offered regularly by employers, many benefits that workers in this age bracket desire are already in place, but they’re not necessarily actively promoted to this demographic.

“Those over 50 have proven they are adaptable in the workplace as tech continues to advance and they continue to embrace it. As a case in point, the invention of Google, social media and mobile phones all occurred in their working careers. This ability to learn and adjust in the workplace should not be overlooked, as it’s a vital skill that many of the younger workforce will not possess to such a level. It also assures organisations that older workers could confidently re-skill and assist in helping with the talent shortage.”

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