According to the CIPD, the true cost of recruiting new workers is around £6,000, so a focus on keeping the talent of older workers makes good business sense too. The ‘Fuller Working Lives’ pilot is just one of the various skills and employment initiatives that the LEP has helped to deliver and develop over the past three years.
It complements the LEP Employment and Skills Strategy that was published in 2014 after considerable consultation with partners, including the four local authorities, employers and education and training providers.
The Strategy is designed to reduce the current skills gaps in the region by up-skilling more Humber residents and ensuring that employers increase productivity. The Strategy has several areas of focus, including the improvement of careers services, the support of skills developments within SMEs and the increase of apprenticeship participation in the region.
The new offer for older workers recognises that the ageing workforce is a reality and workforce planning is key, in order to ensure continued success. ‘Fuller Working Lives’ offers a range of options, including a careers health check for employees and use of several online planning tools for the employer.
As part of this project, the National Careers Service will offer businesses an on-site visit free of charge to discuss how they can provide help in the management of an ageing workforce.
This will also include inviting employees to participate in an in-depth Information and Advice Guidance session to ensure they are considering their own skills and talents and helping to deliver business success.
The areas covered in these sessions can include skills mid-life career reviews, information on training and more, with further help for both employers and employees to review flexible working approaches and practice to encourage retention, progression and improved productivity.
As part of the wider initiative, the Hull 2017 City of Culture volunteers will be offered places at a series of workshops throughout this month – from Monday 13th through to Tuesday 28th November.
These sessions will be a chance for those volunteers who have given their time to the city of Hull and its people during its great year, to focus on their own careers, experiences and achievements.
In the Humber area SMEs are also supported by the LEP Skills Support for the Workforce Programme which offers bespoke solutions for training for employers that meet criteria at no cost.
Phil Glover, Humber LEP Growth Hub Programme Manager said:
“The value to business of a balanced workforce can’t be underestimated. Our Humber Growth Hub is extremely supportive of this project as we can see the positive impact that this will have on local business growth.
“As an employer this pilot will allow you to specify your business needs and work with us to employ, retain or retrain your current workforce resulting in greater productivity essential to growth.”
Gill Dillon, Employer and Partnership Manager at the Department for Work and Pensions said:
“We’re delighted to be working with the Humber LEP and the National Careers Service on this initiative.
“At the Department for Work and Pensions we realise the importance for employees and businesses of having a diverse workforce. This of course impacts positively on employability levels in the region and aids businesses growth alongside our economy.
“I am looking forward to working on this project to support our older workforce which supports the Fuller Working Lives strategy.”
Tonya Ward, National Careers Service Area Director in Yorkshire and the Humber added:
“This gives us at the National Careers Service the opportunity to deliver our services to more adults in work – we are delighted to be supporting this project.”
This is just one of the many skills initiatives the Humber LEP has in place to support a rapidly growing economy in the Humber region.
To find out more about the Humber LEP’s Employment and Skills Strategy and more please visit http://www.humberlep.org/priority/a-skilled-and-productive-workforce/ for more information.