Can we re-engage the older workforce to solve our tech talent shortages?
Group discussion

Can we re-engage the older workforce to solve our tech talent shortages?

22nd September 2022
Client solutions

As we all know, vacancy numbers across the UK remain at high levels, and employers are struggling to recruit the people they need.

Within the tech industry, this problem is particularly evident, with 94% of tech employers believing there is an industry-wide skills shortage (CW Jobs).

And whether as a result of COVID or not, statistically there are more people aged between 50 and 65 who are opting out of the workplace than ever before. Maybe this is because of a sense of disillusionment with post-pandemic workplaces, or a desire to achieve a better work-life balance. But could one of the reasons also be a lack of opportunity to embark on a career change – to learn new skills whilst making the most of the valuable experience already gained over their career to date?

Statistically, our older workforce is more likely to be made redundant, and then are less likely to be re-employed. According to the Centre for Aging Better, 36% of 50-69 year olds feel at a disadvantage applying for jobs due to their age. And yet, there are currently over 11 million people aged 65 and over in the UK, and in ten years’ time this will have increased to 13 million people - 22% of the population.

Infographic reads 11 million people aged 65 and over in the UK, 19% of the UK population


At a time when we are struggling to engage the talent we need, how can we re-engage and re-inspire this population of workers?

For me, actually the answer should be quite simple – there are vacancies to fill, and we should all be focussed on ensuring that the best person for the job, gets the job.

So why can’t a tech role be filled by an older worker looking to change careers? After all, the business skills and life experiences that a career change candidate has under their belt surely will add value to any diverse team.

We need to make sure that candidates looking to change careers feel as though they will be welcomed by potential employers, and that their experience is recognised and valued.

According to the Centre for Aging Better, Age is the least scrutinised and most commonly accepted form of discrimination in the UK. Biased interview processes, adverts that seem to be weighted in favour of younger applicants and workplace cultures that do not support age-inclusivity and all frequently reported challenges.

However, if businesses would be prepared to spend the same time and investment in supporting career change candidates and building programmes to genuinely support age-inclusivity as they would invest in a graduate training programme, for example, a whole new talent pool becomes available.

At Outsource, our Future Technology Consultant model looks to partner with businesses to overcome some of these obstacles- by recruiting and training consultants in the skill set you require, and deploying them back to you on a day rate basis. We’ll support you with your ED&I objectives, and ensure you get the talent you need to power your business growth.

Want to find out more?

Sean Walsh ~ Head of Client Solutions, Outsource UK


Get in touch with our Head of Client Solutions, Sean Walsh

Sean joined Outsource back in 2001 as a technology recruiter and has experience of delivering workforce solutions for FTSE 100’s to start up tech businesses.

Today he heads up our Futures Programmes and for more information, he can be contacted at:

T: 07912 495889


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