Senior MechanicWith the UK’s older working population only set to grow in the coming years, it’s time to re-evaluate how the industry deals with older workers, with a view to challenging them to develop their skills rather than sidelining them.

In recent years, the pension age has increased and we’re seeing more people work for longer than ever before.

For business owners, there could be the worry that employing an older, more experienced member of staff is counter-productive because they may soon retire, but this is nothing but a misconception.

Managing Director at Autotech Recruit, Gavin White, comments:

“Research has found that 73 percent of 1,000 people over the age of 55, who took part in a recent survey about employers’ attitudes towards the ageing workforce, believed they weren’t given enough encouragement to improve their knowledge and skills.”

“With a skills gap currently affecting the automotive industry significantly, it’s time to start noticing the potential of the older workforce. If your garage or workforce is already employing an older workforce, you need to consider ways in which you can retain them.”

Follow these four top tips to retain your ageing workforce:

  • Appreciate expertise – They have years of knowledge, so showing your employees that you care about their opinion, skills and knowledge will give them an incentive to stay in work longer.
  • Encourage learning and development – Offer them a variety of courses and training days to enrol onto. Your industry is changing, so they should be growing their skills set along with it.
  • Be an attractive employer – Acknowledge your employees’ dedication to their job by offering them work perks, flexi-time and the opportunity to adjust contract-types over time.
  • Stay aware of your ageing workers’ retirement plans – Have a variety of contract types available so that if your older employees want to keep working, stay active and continue earning money but don’t want to work five days a week, you’re able to offer them the opportunity to work fewer hours, or days.

Even if your employees aren’t yet nearing the age of retirement, it’s still beneficial to have a strong understanding of how the older generation can enhance your automotive business.

Gavin continues:

“Experienced candidates – such as those who are part of the older workforce – are in popular demand, Brexit is on the horizon and we’ll soon be welcoming Generation-Z into the workplace, who won’t be as experienced with people management skills as ageing workers are. These are just three reasons why we should be re-evaluating how the industry deals with older workers, with a view to challenging them to develop their skills rather than sidelining them.”