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Employers warning on skills crisis in the workplace - what about the over 50s?

The CBI has come out today with a report saying that there is a growing skills shortage in the workplace and this could affect UK productivity negatively in the future. Yet, no mention is made of the waste of talent among the over 50s where employers seem only too happy to say goodbye to quality staff aged over 50 and then bleat about not being able to find equivalent replacements.

We've heard this message from bodies like the CBI for years now but surely it's up to business and industry to solve the problem. Isn't that what being an entrepreneur is all about? Rising to challenges? Pulling rabbits out of hats?

From the perspective of skilledpeople.com, the real problem lies with HR and personnel departments who, too often, are reactive, risk adverse and obstructive. If recruitment was pushed back up the line to managers at the sharp end the situation could be a lot better, we feel. 

We have thousands of jobseekers aged over 50 who speak as one on the age discrimination they experience when trying to stay economically active past the age of 50.

The annual CBI/ Pearson Education and Skills survey, based on 310 firms employing 1.2 million people in the UK, showed that more than two-thirds of businesses are expected to need more high-skilled staff.

But more than half feared they would not be able to find enough staff with the required skills.

"The government has set out its stall to create a high-skilled economy, but firms are facing a skills emergency now, threatening to starve economic growth," said Ms Hall.

"Worryingly, it's those high-growth, high-value sectors with the most potential which are the ones under most pressure. That includes construction, manufacturing, science, engineering and technology.

"The new levy announced in the Budget may guarantee funding for more apprenticeships, but it's unlikely to equate to higher quality or deliver the skills that industry needs. Levies on training already exist in the construction sector where two-thirds of employers are already reporting skills shortages."

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