New figures released by the Department for Work & Pensions show the take up of those in work experience is growing most amongst older workers. 57,000 workers over the age of 50 have benefited from work experience since 2011.
The government-sponsored scheme was introduced in 2011 and was initially seen as a means of boosting the employability of younger workers. Since May 2016, however, the majority of those starting work experience have been over the age of 25. One-in-five are now over the age of 50.
The most significant growth has been amongst those aged 50 and over – with 65 times more of those taking it up since the system was first introduced – to 1,300 starts in the latest month. This compares to 27 times more take up for those aged under-25 and 45 times more for those aged 25-49. More over-50s have benefited from work experience since January 2016 than over the preceding five years combined.
Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva, commented:
“Based on today’s data, it’s time to ditch any hackneyed beliefs that learning is the preserve of the young. The world of work is changing. As we live longer our working lives are also extending.
“Today’s boom in older workers taking up work experience coincides with the number of over 50’s in work hitting an all-time high. Nearly ten million workers are now aged over 50, equating to nearly one-in-three of all employees.2
“A longer working life should be celebrated, and supported. Older workers not only bring valuable experience to the workforce but longer working lives are also helping to pay for a longer retirement.”