Re-skilling mature workers – what skills will they really need in the future?

| October 30, 2020

For some, it is a little insulting after 25 or 30 years in the workforce to be told you now need to re-skill in order to keep your job, or get a new one. On top of fixed opinions and age based discrimination, it is all a bit hard to take for the 45+ worker.

In recent research, the team at Silver & Wise have uncovered a glaring gap in widely held opinions about what skills mature workers need.

I don’t think we’ve got the right focus at all for workers in their mid forties upwards.

There is a lot of talk about digital skills. But in my opinion, this is way off the mark.

One statistic stood out for me, whilst researching my latest book – The Experience Equation.

80% of organisations in the US have confirmed they see their future workforce will be made up of more freelance than full time employees. 

Wow! Imagine if that really does come to pass. And what if it truly represents 80% of all jobs.

8 out of 10 jobs will become freelance.

What skills will freelancers need?

Naturally, there will be a need for the skills defined in that freelance contract – which could be anything from project management, to accounting, marketing, administrative support, human resources and so on – right across the skills landscape.

And, yes, these freelance jobs will require a working understanding of the programs and platforms being used by that organisation in their operations. Whether it is a CRM(customer relationship management), or perhaps cloud accounting, or even a HR Admin system.  

But no one is talking about the broader skills required to be a successful freelancer. What about understanding your value proposition, how to market yourself to potential customers, how to manage the cashflow of a freelance ‘business’ and the many other skills a self employed person will need?

At Silver & Wise, we’re convinced this explosion of freelance workers is going to dramatically change the skill set requirements of the average mature worker.

And right now, there are huge gaps between what is really going to be needed, and what is being ‘promoted’.

A major rethink is going to be required if we want to ensure our mature workforce is going to survive in the world of freelance and gigs.

We’ve already developed programs to help mature workers get future ready and business ready.

What do you think?


How does your business support mature workers?

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