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Flagship programme to help the South East's Older Workers

19 March 2009

SEEDA has published a new report which underpins a flagship programme aiming to recruit and retain more older workers for the benefit of the regional economy.

“Opportunities for Older Workers” supports the 40-70 Tomorrow's Workforce programme explores the kind of support needed to ensure that older workers can make the most of employment opportunities in the South East.

Once the recession is over, the South East is forecast to see the fastest growth in employment of any region, with 80,000 more jobs by 2015. Recruiting and retaining more people over the age of 40 will increasingly be a priority in order to avoid potential labour shortages.

The programme encompasses a range of projects across the South East aiming to retain more older workers in the active workforce, including re-skilling and offering flexible working practices, and returning more older people to the workforce after they have left it due to redundancy, ill-health or for other reasons.

Barbara Smith, SEEDA's Director of Employment and Skills, commented: "Opportunities for Older Workers' demonstrates that the economic success of the South East will increasingly depend on ensuring that we are able to draw effectively on the talents, experience and skills of older workers.

"We are committed to helping older workers maintain and develop their skills, whether or not they are currently in work. And if they are not in work, we want to help them maintain their confidence levels, enthusiasm and interest in exploring future work possibilities when these arise."

Employees over the age of 40 contribute more than half of the economic output of the South East, while those aged over 50 account for one quarter of the economy.

According to the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education, 80% of the most workable and worthwhile new production ideas come from employees aged over 40.

In twenty years' time, one quarter of the South East population will be over state pension age and little more than half will be of working age.

For further information, please contact:

Tanya Reed, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 484200
Email: pressoffice@seeda.co.uk.

For more information please contact our press office

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