Championing older workers with Mid-life Career Reviews

Group working at unionlearn Pathways to progression event – supporting midlife development through higher leaning
Group working at unionlearn Pathways to progression event – supporting mid-life development through higher leaning ©unionlearn

I am often asked about the benefits of holding Mid-life Career Reviews and why I feel it is important. I'm a champion for older workers and ensuring the support they need is available so they can continue to play a productive and active role within the workplace.

The working population of the UK is ageing. It is estimated that the next 10 years will see around 13.5 million job vacancies, but only 7 million school and college leavers. Changes in retirement age and legislation have meant that many of us will be working longer whether that is through choice or necessity.

In order to bridge this gap, the UK is seeing an extension to working lives with older workers helping to bridge the gap.

Unionlearn was a partner in the Niace Mid-life Career Reviews pilot project in 2013. Union members told us how valuable they found having a Review was to have a reflective space to discuss their situation and make plans for the future.

A Review is a positive intervention for workers as it helps them consider their situation and plan for the future. Whether you are preparing for redundancy, promotion, retirement, training, development or other career and life changes, a Review can provide you with the help and support you need in order to manage these changes.
Facing redundancy can be extremely stressful at any time of your life, but preparing for a period of change can alleviate some of the stress and help to review your options. Research shows that those people who have below level 2 qualifications find it more difficult to re-engage in the labour market. This is reduced even further if you are aged 55+.

People who have qualifications above level 2 are more likely to find further employment, so it makes economic sense to prepare for your future.

If you would like to find out more about Mid-life Career Reviews, unionlearn have a wealth of information and resources to help and support you. These include:

  • Supporting Mid-life Development learning theme on the Climbing Frame website. This learning theme contains a wealth of information to help reps support older workers and deliver Mid-life Career Reviews
  • Supporting Mid-life Development eNote. This short online module contains a mixture of text, video’s, and quizzes.

Unionlearn would like to see every worker at the age of 50 have an entitlement to a Mid-life Career Review. These effective interventions can help older workers develop new skills and improve job resilience so that they can continue to play an active role within the labour market.

Profile picture for user Jane Warwick

Jane Warwick

Jane Warwick is a unionlearn Projects Officer. She's worked at the TUC since 1996 in a number roles within TUC Education, Learning Services and now unionlearn.

She is part of the Services Team with the remit of supporting learners and leads on Supporting Mid-life Development agenda.