Lancashire businesses urged to value and ‘retain, recruit and retrain’ older workers
The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has called upon Lancashire businesses to consider recruiting, retraining and upskilling more older workers as they could make a key contribution to the county’s growing economy.
Graham Cowley, Chair of the LEP’s Growth Deal Board, highlighted the contribution of older workers at a special conference, The Value of Experience: Retaining, Retraining and Recruiting Older Workers, which was held this week at the University of Central Lancashire.
The event, which was organised by the LEP's Skills and Employment Hub and the Department for Work and Pensions, was attended by over 60 employers, skills advisers and recruitment specialists from across Lancashire. Recent research by the LEP has revealed that tens of thousands of older workers in key sectors of the Lancashire economy are set to leave employment, just as demand for new workers is beginning to rise sharply in many industries across the county.
Mr Cowley told delegates “I encourage all Lancashire businesses to consider the great value and contribution which older workers bring to any workplace. Many have considerable experience in all types of businesses and sectors, and can often bring excellent ‘soft skills’ such as negotiation, problem solving and team building, to any situation. Their insights and expertise drawn from a long working life can also help to tackle a wide range of challenges facing businesses today.
“They could also play a crucial role in helping the LEP achieve its ambition for economic growth in the county and our target of generating over 50,000 new jobs over the next ten years.”
Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, director of the Lancashire Skills Hub, said: “In addition to helping fill job vacancies and driving growth, staying in work can make a highly positive impact on the individual employee, including physical and mental health benefits. Employers adopting flexible working practices, which enable older workers with, for example, caring responsibilities, are reaping the benefits of retaining experience and skills.
“Recruiting or retaining more older workers can bring huge benefits to employee, employer, and the whole of the local community, and further help support Lancashire’s wider economic aspirations in terms of job creation and increased enterprise.”
For any employer interested in finding out more about employing older people and funded support to recruit and upskill employees please contact the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub on LancsSkillsHub@lancashirelep.co.uk.