Report highlights the need to ensure skills training of over 55s isn’t overlooked

Laptop, office and senior business women in collaboration planning a corporate project together. Teamwork, professional and elderly manager helping a mature employee with a report in the workplace

One in three UK employees in the UK are over the age of 501, but a large proportion of this generation are being overlooked for workplace skills training opportunities and are being locked out of opportunities to upskill and re-skill in today’s rapidly evolving workplaces.

Over half of over 55s haven’t received any management or leadership training in their current role. Employees in the 23 – 38 age bracket were most likely to have participated in management and leadership training in their current role, with two thirds (67%) having received training to support the development of their management or leadership skills in their current job. 

Over half of over 55s (55%) haven’t received any technical skills training on how to use digital tools and technologies, such as ChatGPT, from their employer in the past twelve months. This is over twice the number of younger adults aged 18 – 25 (27%) who haven’t received training in these critical areas in the past year. 

The findings are from Corndel’s Workplace Training Report 2024, based on research conducted with 1,000 UK employees and 250 HR decision makers at large organisations2

Furthermore, employees aged over 55 are also least likely to have received workplace training around ‘human’ management skills, such as empathy, mental health awareness and emotional intelligence, with only 25% who have received training in these areas in comparison to an average 39% across all age groups.

Over 55s value professional development and aren’t confident in their current skills set

Over half of over 55s (54%) say professional development is an important factor in their decision to stay with an organisation, suggesting employers need to shift their thinking around offering training and development for employees who are in their fifties and over. Worryingly, one in five over 55s (19%) don’t feel confident enough in their current skill set to find new employment or pivot their career if they were to lose their current job. In contrast, less than one in ten (8%) under 55s didn’t feel confident in their ability to find a new job or pivot their career with their current skill set. 

James Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Corndel, said: “Skills power people and power organisations. Without providing access to adequate training opportunities, we are not allowing this group of the workforce to thrive. And businesses are potentially losing out on the huge value that this experienced group of the workforce can add if they have equal access to ongoing technical and management skills training.”

“Continuous learning and upskilling needs to be embedded into the UK’s workplace culture. In an era of the great ‘unretirement’, with thousands more over 55s working longer than ever before, alongside a time where both technology and working practices are evolving at lightning speed, people in all roles, at all levels of seniority and across all age groups should have the opportunity to enhance their skills and learn new skills to prosper in today’s workplace.”

Over 55s case study: Robin Razzell, Data Analyst at Mitie Energy

Robin Razzell is a highly experienced commercial project manager with a 24-year career spanning engineering, retail, and IT systems development and is currently a Data Analyst at Mitie Energy. Robin is currently enrolled on the Corndel and Imperial College London Data Analyst programme. 

Robin says: “I’m a believer in lifelong learning. Twenty or thirty years ago, career progression by the time I got to my level often plateaued. However, now, unless you are staying ahead of the curve, you essentially become redundant, because the environment in which we work is moving forward so quickly. If you want to remain relevant to the workplace, you must upskill, it doesn’t matter what age you are. Without that upskilling, you will shortly find yourself sidelined and of no more use if you’re not educated about the current trends in the workplace environment.”


2 Opinium Research conducted an online poll on behalf of Corndel with 250 HR decision makers in organisations with 250+ employees and an online poll with 1,000 UK employees on 7th to 11th December 2023.

You might also like:

Join our growing network of employers
Receive Make A Difference News straight to your inbox

Sign up to receive Make A Difference's fortnightly round up of features, news, reports, case studies, practical tools and more for employers who want to make a difference to work culture, mental health and wellbeing.