Harrogate-based unretirement expert, Next-Up, has launched a new digital platform to support the often overlooked demographic of over 50s in the workplace, providing inspiration on what they can continue to achieve in retirement — the first benefit of its kind for this age group.

Launched on 1st November, the online course will assist employers in retaining top talent, as well as plugging the ever-growing skills shortage, granting employees access to a huge array of content and activities that will allow them to fully understand the opportunities available when nearing the end of their careers.

And with the recent Department of Work and Pensions report, 50 Plus:Choices, stating that in 2023, there are 3.5 million people aged 50 to 64 who are economically inactive in the UK – with more than half not giving ‘sick or disabled’ as a reason for being out of work — there is evidence there is a huge skills resource that remains untapped. This group would like to do more but lack key information on how to make this possible.

Also, by 2030 nearly half of the UK’s workforce will be over 50, and the world’s leading 20 economies will have a skills shortage of over 100 million people – yet employers are letting thousands of the 50+ generation retire without discussing how they can continue to contribute by working part-time or on one-off projects, even though they might want to.

Next-Up chief executive, Victoria Tomlinson, stated: “Employers are facing a ticking time bomb when it comes to age discrimination. Employers openly admit they would prefer to recruit younger people than those aged over 50, and benefits are geared towards younger employees, such as help with childcare and parental leave, without consideration of the support that could be offered to those in higher age brackets.

“A huge number of employees are facing major skills shortages, but they let thousands of people retire every year without any kind of discussion about working flexibly or differently, which could plug many of those gaps. They are avoiding these conversations because they hit sensitivities and discrimination around age.”

“The 50+ generation is too often seen as a problem by employers. Rethink Retirement will help managers retain valuable, experienced resources and foster new opportunities.”

The online platform has already been successfully piloted by major corporations, with the content informing and guiding employees, and taking a holistic approach — covering not just next steps, but also about building new skills and connections, as well as getting involved in ESG initiatives within the company before they retire.

GP Dr Sarah Hattam, who delivers the health module on the platform, also commented: “The key at this stage of life is to find purpose. So many people need a reason to get out of bed, once they retire. We know the platform is helping remotivate employees and allowing them to be actively engaged at this next stage of life.

“This will give people another ten years of active life and reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s by more than double. People can be net contributors to society at this stage.”

And, offering concluding comment, Victoria said: “Our platform encourages employees to start these discussions themselves, some may want to just relax, whereas some may want to work and earn longer. It helps them think about what they want after working life – once called retirement – and shows it is possible to do new things but also keep working.”