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UK – Aging workforce could plug skills gap

01 August 2013

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

A problem that could be overcome, according to interim management and executive recruitment company Executives Online, by sourcing workers from the so-called ‘baby boomer’ generation.

James O’Brien, joint managing director at Executive Online 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,” he added.

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 team.

Of the clients that responded 16% reported that they needed extra management capacity for a fixed-term project. A further 16% said they were recruiting for a permanent employee but could not find the right person fast enough.

Mr O’Brien added: “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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