So how welcoming is the UK labor market for older workers? | UK unemployment and employment statistics

Jhe number of older workers quitting their jobs has risen during the pandemic, reversing decades of steady gains for the over-50s in the UK workforce. With a record number of vacancies, employment experts and campaigners say the government and businesses could do more to support older people who want to work. We interview four people about their experiences.

Bob Pemberton, 71, Aviva Customer Service Advisoruh

After a 50-year career, most people could think of better things to do with their days than starting work at 6:15 a.m. For Bob Pemberton, however, stepping up to his job as a customer service advisor with Aviva insurance company puts a spring in his step.

The 71-year-old from Sheffield joined the company in 2015 after deciding retirement was not for him. He had worked since the early 1970s for the Ministry of Health and Social Security and later for a trade union.

“I was thoroughly bored,” he said. ” I like to work. It keeps me active and my brain works. You start to stagnate if you’re not careful.

Pemberton says he’s lucky because he doesn’t have to work. He and his wife, Liz, both have retirement salary pensions and have paid off their mortgages. “But my work is rewarding: I work with a great team.

Aviva allows her to work flexibly, working a few long days to allow for a shorter workweek. The insurer says investing in older workers creates a diverse workforce and helps pass on experience to younger employees.

Pemberton can work from home, but has been happy to return to the office as restrictions ease: “I really like being back. It’s great to be with a crowd of people.

He plans to continue working for social life and stimulation for as long as he feels like it. “I definitely don’t feel like I’m 71. I’ll probably keep working for a while yet.”

Tim Folan, 61, retired purchasing manager

Having lost his job in 2019, Tim Folan gave up looking for work during the pandemic after reassessing his priorities. Now the 61-year-old is considering selling his home in Walthamstow, east London, and retiring to a cheaper town in the north of England, such as Liverpool or Bradford.

“I said to myself last year that the only reason I came to London was to find work. So why stay? Why not cash in my property money and move further north where people are nicer?

The former librarian, from Coventry, handled purchasing for a major accountancy firm and said he feared at the start of the pandemic he could crowd out young adults if he clashed with them for jobs .

“I thought – I think a lot of people did at the time – that there would be a massive recession and lots of unemployment. I didn’t need to work, so why not give up and just retire? »

Adam Ranson, 65, retired media professor

Former Gloucestershire film and media studies professor Adam Ranson has found his job as a reviewer dried up during the pandemic. In semi-retirement since 2018, he changed his mind about finding a job. “I’m starting to be offered surveillance work, but I’m not inclined to rehire,” he said. “The harrow has descended on my 40 year old calling and I am living the life I expected to lead in my 70s.”

Ranson was a fan of foreign language and arthouse films and followed cultural trends, but says he lost all sense of filmmaking as his calling.

“I started looking The power of the dog recently, and I thought, “Good acting, great cinematography, but do I want to watch a tale of misery?” Nah, Jack Reacher is better’.

Nichola Richings, 66, retired seller

Nicholas Richings

After being fired by the energy company she worked for, Nichola Richings, 66, was laid off in the fall of 2020.

“It damaged my self-esteem and my confidence,” she said. “But I’m a resilient person, so when I turned 66 I decided to think of myself not as an old woman on the scrap heap but as a young pensioner.”

Richings lacks the financial safety net enjoyed by some pensioners, having moved to her council house in Wiltshire eight years ago from a women’s shelter. She has no work pension, no property without a mortgage and depends on her state pension and supplementary credits, worth £177.10 a week.

Although she is happily retired and enjoys walking her dog, Rosa, in the fields near her home, she believes that even if she wanted to work, employers would reject her application.

“A woman my age is unemployable,” she said. “Who is going to hire someone who needs to be trained as they approach retirement age?”

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