Just £100 could lead to better working lives for over 45s

17 August 2015

A career review costing just £100 could help people over 45 become confident enough to find a job, change career or take up learning. The headline finding of NIACE’s Mid-life Career Review Programme shows the substantial benefits of simple advice for Britain’s ageing population.


Over the last two years, nearly 3,000 people aged 45-64 have benefitted from the Government-supported pilot. Reviews were delivered by 17 partners including the National Careers Service Prime Contractors, voluntary organisations, learning providers, Unionlearn, Workplace Learning Advocates and Community Learning Champions. They covered employment, training, financial planning and health issues, particularly focussed on people out of work, facing redundancy, or wanting to adapt to a new way of working.


More than 8 in 10 people felt their self-confidence and belief in their skills and experience we boosted, along with other positive outcomes. As a result:


• 1 in 3 took action as a direct result of their review;

• 1 in 5 found work after being unemployed;

• 1 in 3 felt motivated to find work, change career, or take up learning; and

• almost half felt they knew more about possible work or career opportunities.


Minister for Pensions, Baroness Altmann, said:


“Mid-life Career Reviews give people the chance to think about their futures and start planning early for their changing lifestyles, rather than being pushed into retiring before they are ready.


“Employers will lose out if they fail to recognise the valuable skills older staff bring to the workforce, particularly as our society ages. Encouraging and enabling those who want to work longer has the power to make British businesses more competitive and increase our country’s economic activity significantly in the future.”


Stephen Evans, NIACE Deputy Chief Executive, said:


“With a quarter of all working people already over 50, the UK workforce is ageing and it is estimated that we’ll have 12 million vacancies in the next ten years and only 7 million young people to fill them.


“It’s great that people are living longer, but better support is needed so everyone can achieve fulfilling working lives. In a world of longer working lives and rapidly changing technology, people will need to update their skills and change careers more often. Careers advice and learning need to be lifelong rather than one offs when young. But for too many people, opportunities to learn and to talk about their hopes and plans are limited.


“Yet the solution could be as simple as investing just £100 on a relatively light touch Mid-life Career Review. We have shown the difference they can make, boosting people’s confidence and helping them make active choices. This is good for people, employers and our economy. The challenge now is for employers, pensions providers and other stakeholders to build this into their services.”


Following the pilot’s success, NIACE will now be working with the Department for Businesses Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and other key stakeholders to ensure that more people are able to access a Career Review.