The Challenge

Not all employers offer what’s needed to retain an older workforce or recognise the benefits of doing so. We’re working with the government and employers to create the right conditions for more people over 50 to be in fulfilling work.

Centre for Ageing Better

In the UK, employment rates drop after the age of 55 – and over half of people have stopped working before state pension age. Supporting people to be in good quality, fulfilling work, for as long as possible, is important for their financial security in later life. There’s a huge gap in the provision of accessible and suitable support for older people to build the skills and confidence they need to find fulfilling work

Our approach

I’ve done only one interview ever. It was when I was at school for this job.

Worker over 50 going through redundancy

We’re taking a phased approach to this challenge with the Centre for Ageing Better. Together, we have set out to learn what works in supporting workers over 50 who’ve been made redundant return to fulfilling work, with an initial focus on the manufacturing and automotive sectors in the West Midlands.

I love the banter at work, having a life, getting out and seeing people.

Gavin, Jobseeker

In our first phase, Shift supported the team with mixed-method research to more deeply understand people’s real experiences of work, redundancy risk and jobseeking, and to surface the key opportunities to make a difference.

What we need now is targeted, individualised back-to-work support for over 50s to address the particular challenges this group faces in the labour market.

The State of Ageing 2022

The second phase involved co-creating concepts within those opportunities, testing and prioritising them, and then running a prototype group coaching service to support over-50s after redundancy. The third phase will involve a final round of prototyping which will help us to refine this group coaching concept and answer outstanding questions before commissioning a pilot.

So far…

  • Working with two advisors over 50 who have experienced redundancy as part of our project team
  • Rapid evidence review and provision mapping of 150+ services
  • User research with experts, service providers and over-50s
  • Identified opportunities which were co-developed into concepts, tested and prioritised
  • Developed a group coaching prototype for the chosen concept which has been run with a group of 10 over-50s

Team

With thanks to Amelia Woods.

Research

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Partners

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Email me - louise.cooper@shiftdesign.org