Article by Ceri Wheeldon

There are many challenges for society as we address an ageing population and ageing workforce.

We are all living longer and working for longer, with most  ‘older’ workers wanting to extend their working lives, either through financial necessity, or through choice, enjoying the challenges, the sense of identity and social interaction work brings.

By 2020 one in three workers will be over 50, and by 2030 half of all adults in the UK will be over 50.

Over the next five years there will be 0.8 million more people aged 50-64, and 0.4 million fewer people aged 16-49. As a nation we are facing a potential skills shortage moving forward as baby boomers retire, and proportionately fewer younger people join the workforce.

So how can we address this?

Addressing a future skills shortage

Historically, workers in their 50s were viewed by many as individuals slowing down as they prepared for retirement. This is no longer the case, as traditional retirement and retirement ages have changed, and the over 50s are still wanting to progress their careers.

By offering a Midlife MOT where career, finances and lifestyle are reviewed, employers have the opportunity to harness and retain the talent of older employees, as the employees themselves  gain a better understanding of their needs  and requirements from a skills, financial and wellbeing and lifestyle perspective, and the employers have a greater understanding of their aspirations. Employees feel more engaged and valued. Employers will be able to determine training requirements to retain individuals for a longer in a committed and productive environment. As a former headhunter I know how expensive it is to recruit new employees, not just from the point of view of recruitment fees, but also in terms of management time and resources committed to the process, the cost of lost opportunity and impact to the business in having positions vacant.

Benefits of a MidLife MOT

Employers will also be able to identify any cultural issues relating to ageism, assess flexible working options for those who may have caring needs, or simply wish to utilise their skills and talent moving forward an a less that full-time basis- whilst continuing to add value to the organisation. Employers will also gain more insights as to when employees are looking to retire, leading to better succession planning .

Retaining older employees is critical for organisation wishing to sustain growth.

A MidLife MOT benefits both employer and employee.