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Businesses and HR professionals are being challenged to come up with ideas to make sure the Humber addresses an inevitable skills gap at an event on Friday (November 20).

The Humber LEP in partnership with The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Chapter3, a not for profit organisation set up specifically to support people over 50 to have a fulfilling career, is hosting a discussion event on how to tackle a serious issue facing to the Humber labour market – how to retain, retrain and recruit the over-50s.

More than 60 people have already signed up to be part of the conversation at the event that starts at 8am, at the Mercure Hotel, in Willerby, which includes presentations from experts from the DWP, Chapter 3, and The Age and Employment Network and a problem solving exercise. There will also be a message from Minister of State for Pensions Baroness Ros Altmann.

The changes in demographic highlighted by the DWP means that there are a greater number of older people in employment than before. And in the next 10 years there will be 120,000 fewer people age 16-49 but 3.2m more aged 50 plus.

In the Humber this trend is mirrored which will see 2 per cent fewer 15-49 year olds but 7 per cent more 50-64 year olds. In the 50-64 age range 36 per cent of people are unemployed in the Humber.

Mike Parker, Chair of the Humber LEP Employment and Skills Board, said:
“At the LEP we see our 50+ residents as a vital resource for employers; these people are often those with higher level skills, experience and confidence who are a significant part of the solution to current and future skills gaps. We hope that this conference will enable all partners to develop agreed actions to engage and support our older potential workforce, by working on innovative pilots in the Humber.”

Minister for Pensions Ros Altmann said:
“It is encouraging to see that more people are choosing to stay in work for longer – it’s great news both for their personal financial prospects in retirement and for the economy as a whole. In the past society was too quick to write people off once they reached a certain age but it is clear things are changing, and about time too.

“However we must not become complacent about this issue – we still have a long way to go. It is vital that we continue to harness the potential of older workers, and employers in Britain need to take action on this. Events like this play a vital role in encouraging businesses to retain, retrain and recruit older workers.”

You can see the video here.

Terry King OBE, Operations and Marketing director for Chapter 3, said:
“In years gone by, and facing staffing reductions many older workers were encouraged towards ending their careers early when pensions were less stretched. However this results in both a cost to the economy and the workplace through decreased GDP and in lost skills from the workforce.

“There are some preconceived ideas about older people and the work environment, however sufficient forethought and flexibility means that the over 50s can have a fulfilling and economically viable future. For business that translates as being able to retain people with work ready skills, who can transmit company values to new staff, make excellent mentors for younger employees, and provide an effective workforce for special projects.”

Keely Lead

Keely is responsible for the LEP’s media and public relations activity, events, communication channels and communications with our stakeholders.