Retention, Progression and Skills

Jig Saw with the word skills


Retaining, progressing and training older workers is vital to making the most of our ageing population.  

Everyone can keep learning and progressing no matter what their age. Retaining and upskilling older workers will mean that your business will not lose out on the critical skills and knowledge it needs for its future success.   

To ensure that age is not a barrier to career progression and training - nor a cause for early exit – recommendations for action are set out in our Missing Million research. We are also glad to support the Retain, Retrain & Recruit priorities set out by Pensions Minister and Business Champion for Older Workers Baroness Altmann.

Learn more about the Retain, Retrain & Recruit priorities>> 

Recommendations for business

  • Establish a system of supportive and responsive line management, including performance reviews which flag up and tackle challenges early, and engaging employees of all ages in regular dialogue about career progression. 
  • Ensure all line managers are offered adequate training and guidance relevant to managing and supporting the careers of people at all ages and life stages. 
  • Support employees in managing their own career trajectories through access to tailored career coaching, advice, training and development opportunities.  
  • Monitor access to training and development by age to identify any under-representation.
  • Re-skill your workforce to futureproof the modern economy, including retraining in key digital skills.
  • Broaden the range of career pathways within your organisation to introduce more opportunities for greater personal fulfilment and social purpose.  
  • Implement Mid-Life Career Reviews to support people at particular milestones plan for the future. 
  • Adapt training and development to the needs of an age-diverse workforce.
  • Proactively offer training to fill any skills gaps employees might have and be open to additional training request. 

Recommendations for government

  • Implement a cross-government national skills strategy for older workers, including apprenticeships, IT skills training and adult learning support.