Unemployed Over 50s Offered Skills Training
More and more people over the age of 50 are looking for work as the retirement age is pushed further out of reach and the costs of living continue to increase. Some over 50s may have been out of work for a number of years. Maybe you have spent a number of years raising your family, or maybe you simply want to change career as you enter the final years of employment, or you may find yourself facing redundancy having worked with the same firm for decades. Whatever your reasons for being unemployed, the government has initiated a programme to offer skills training for the over 50s who are not in work to increase their chances of securing employment.
As part of their support package for the unemployed, many Job Centres are now offering skills training for this age group. Although not all Job Centres will deem the over 50s to be a priority, the majority do have the discretion to spend their budgets on whatever initiatives they believe will help people back into work.
When it comes to searching for a job as an older job searcher you may have specific needs such as assistance with CV writing, perfecting interview techniques and acquiring skills which are relevant in today’s workplace. This is particularly relevant if you have worked in the same role for many years and the prospect of re-entering the world of work can be a daunting experience.
Training courses can focus on a range of different skills from networking online and offline, building your personal brand and persuading potential employers that you have the skills, knowledge and expertise that would be beneficial for their organisation.
Perhaps one of the major barriers that the over 50s face is their lack of up to date skills. In addition many 50 plus job seekers state that they experience ageist attitudes from employers. However, improving your skills in technology so you can compete with the younger generation is essential, not only because these skills are used frequently in the workplace but the majority of job opportunities now require candidates to complete the application online.
Different types of skills training for the over 50s
The over 50s can access a number of different training opportunities to help them increase their chances of success in terms of gaining employment.
Building Self Confidence
It has been reported that one of the major problems unemployed people aged 50 plus face is that of confidence. Through learning a new skill, securing a new qualification or embarking on an apprenticeship, training can provide you with a confidence boost and increase your chances of success when it comes to gaining employment.
There are hundreds of courses that the over 50s can access, some are more general soft skills courses while others are more specific qualifications such as administration technical roles which will enable the individual to secure employment within a particular sector. Some over 50s also want to acquire academic qualifications such as GCSEs if you don’t have any or perhaps even an NVQ.
Basic Skills/Skills for Life
Years ago it was often perfectly acceptable to occupy a job for a number of years with limited skills in language, reading, writing and numeracy. Learning IT skills was a rarity because the technology just didn’t exist. However in the modern workplace, very few people can manage without these basic skills and will find it increasingly difficult to secure employment without them. Some employers may even ask for evidence of these skills during the application process. If you don’t possess these basic skills or you have never learned to read properly, it can be a huge challenge to seek help in this area. However, there are countless courses available which allow you to start from scratch and develop competence and confidence in reading, writing and numeracy.
You may believe that if you gain employment it has to be the same type of job that you have done before. However this is often not the case. Many people over 50 have changed careers, entered new industries and trained in new occupations. There are so many opportunities to change direction or acquire new skills and training courses are an excellent way of doing this.
The way in which you present yourself can have a major impact on how you are perceived by employers. Personal presentation is important. You don’t want to undersell or oversell yourself during an interview and suitable skills training can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses so you can present yourself in the best way possible, both on your CV and at interview.
Soft skills are those that all employers look for. These are basic skills such as the way you communicate, how you solve problems and the way in which you work in a team. Even if you are changing careers you can take the soft skills from your previous role and use them to great effect in a new job, even if it is something entirely different. Many soft skills are transferable which means that you can apply them to any employment opportunity that you apply for.
Learning Linked to a Real Workplace
Training is more effective if it is focused on a specific role and placements, apprenticeships and work based training can be an ideal way of combining classroom learning with on the job training.
CV Writing and Interviews
The way in which a CV is written is quite different today than it once was. Employers expect succinct, tailored applications which include key words and phrases for the job opening. The same applies for interviews. Some employers may even require potential applicants to sit psychometric or aptitude tests to determine suitability. Training can be provided in all of these areas including writing a CV, interview skills and preparing for aptitude tests.
Are qualifications important?
There is a general consensus amongst the over 50s that employers place too much emphasis on formal qualifications rather than focusing on experience, enthusiasm and motivation for the job. However, the most valuable qualifications that those over 50 can obtain would include:
License to Practice – Some qualifications are essential to work in certain roles such as accountancy, law or trades. Employers will usually recruit those who have the relevant qualifications
Basic Skills – The majority of jobs will require a certain level of literacy and numeracy as well as the ability to use the English language. Therefore it is strongly recommended that you obtain qualifications in these areas if you have not already done so.
Securing employment when you are over 50 is certainly not impossible. Through the completion of skills training and your workplace experience, there is no reason why you can’t be a strong candidate for any employment opportunity
Training With Spearhead
Here at Spearhead we are passionate about providing people with high quality training courses in order to improve their personal development. If you would like to learn more about the courses in which we offer then please visit our course page to find a course which truly suits you.