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Ageing workforce can help plug skills gap

Ageing workforce can help plug skills gap

The baby boomer generation could help to fix the shortfall of skills that will be affecting the UK workplace, according to interim management and executive recruitment company Executives Online.

Figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, say that over the next 10 years there will be 13.5 million job vacancies but only seven million school and college leavers – that leaves a shortfall of 6.5 million people.

Joint managing director at Executives Online James O’Brien said: “Experienced interim managers are usually taken on to plug a gap in skills in management teams and the baby boomer generation could provide the perfect skills bridge in overcoming this shortfall.

“The fact that people are able and willing to work longer is also contributing to the growth of this larger pool of talent.

“With government records showing that by 2020, 36% of the working population will be over 50, it stands to reason that older, more experienced professionals will become more widespread within the employment landscape.”

Executives Online’s Interim Report – Research and Analysis on the UK Interim Management Market revealed that interim managers tend to be seasoned executives. More than 70% of 934 survey respondents were over 50 and 18.7% were over 601.

From the client side, reasons for hiring an interim manager show that more than a quarter (28%) undertook this approach as they were seeking skills not present in the existing management team2.

Sixteen per cent of clients responded that they needed extra management capacity for a fixed-term project. A further 16% said they were recruiting for a permanent employee but couldn’t find the right person fast enough.

Kevin Rogers, managing director at global printing group Elanders, which specialises in commercial print, packaging and e-commerce, took on interim manager Chris Hewitt as sales and marketing director after he contacted Executives Online about the role.

Mr Rogers said: “Chris had the key qualities that the younger sales and marketing team lacked. Initially I was going to take him on for six months but he is now in a permanent role as I realised his skills set were exactly what we needed. He has expertise in managing projects from start to finish, a full understanding of how to integrate sales and marketing to get the best results and at a strategic level, he was able to identify what opportunities lay ahead for the business to shape the way that we are now heading.”

Mr O’Brien said: “Often older workers are highly valued as part of our recruitment briefs because of the immediate skills and experience they are able to bring to a role. We think this trend is set to continue and grow.”


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