Conference hails experienced workforce

A business strategy expert has called on Fylde coast companies to value older workers.

Wednesday, 26th April 2017, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:03 pm
Graham Cowley speaking at the UCLan conference
Graham Cowley speaking at the UCLan conference

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has called on businesses to consider recruiting, retraining and upskilling more older workers.

Graham Cowley, chairman of the LEP’s Growth Deal Board, highlighted the contribution of older workers at a conference at the University of Central Lancashire.

The event, organised by the LEP’s Skills and Employment Hub and the Department for Work and Pensions, was attended by 60 employers, skills advisers and recruitment specialists from across the county.

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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.

Mr Cowley told delegates: “I encourage all Lancashire businesses to consider the great value and contribution which older workers bring. 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 generating 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 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.”