Ride Out the Recession by Developing the fastest growing sector of your workforce

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Contracting staffing levels precipitated by the credit crunch mean that companies need more output with fewer head count. Those over 45 years old will compose almost 40% of the workforce in just two years. Yet this fastest growing sector of the workforce receives the least investment. The country's economic recovery depends upon ensuring the increased contribution of these "baby boomers". A new training programme, Fresh Steps, allows them to develop themselves further and for employers to get the best from them now and in the future.

The reason why I wanted to go on the course was because I was curious as not much is ever mentioned about older workers, we usually are ignored. Doing this course has given me the confidence and tools to embrace being an older worker and renewed my ambition to be able to get what I want out of life.

Contracting staffing levels precipitated by the credit crunch mean that companies need more output with fewer head count. Those over 45 years old will compose almost 40% of the workforce in just two years. Yet this fastest growing sector of the workforce receives the least investment. The country's economic recovery depends upon ensuring the increased contribution of these "baby boomers". A new training programme, Fresh Steps, allows them to develop themselves further and for employers to get the best from them now and in the future.

Milecastle Consultancy, specialist North West training provider is offering a no-risk opportunity for employers and their workers to try out the programme free in Manchester next month.

Sue Hewitt, international training consultant and Fresh Steps trainer points out, "For an employer, older workers represent a huge pool of potential. They are more loyal, take less sick leave and have a wealth of experience. However, our research shows that they frequently feel overlooked and undervalued." Fresh Steps is an invigorating personal and work development programme for this hard working cohort. The course tackles the personal and work development issues identified by older workers and their employers.

Carol Kelly (52) attendee on a course at Northumbria University commented, "The reason why I wanted to go on the course was because I was curious as not much is ever mentioned about older workers, we usually are ignored. Doing this course has given me the confidence and tools to embrace being an older worker and renewed my ambition to be able to get what I want out of life."

Colleagues of a similar age work together in a supportive environment during a two day workshop building confidence in their valuable expertise and awareness of what may be limiting their progress. This is followed by a one-day workshop setting targets and goals, re-launching their life. Individually tailored project work is done in between the workshops.

Participants' feedback reveals that 100% of attendees felt they had gained support to make changes in their life and work. 92.5% left with specific goals they wanted to achieve, whilst the same percentage also felt they had gained information to enable them to make more informed choices about their future.

Louise McDonald, Senior Training and Development Manager at the university said, "We recognise that we have an unusually high age profile and a high proportion of long-serving staff. We wanted to offer an opportunity for staff to consider their career opportunities and to look at the different options and life choices ahead of them. Fresh Steps offered us the opportunity to do this within a defined programme. Looking at the feedback, it certainly seems to have helped us achieve our aim."

Milecastle Consultancy works with organisations internationally on development of older workers and advancement of women to senior positions. They achieve significant improvements in self esteem and confidence for the future through the delivery of targeted personal development programmes. Clients include Northumbria University, British Transport Police, BAE Systems, Probation Service and Lantra the Sector Skills Council for the Environment and Land Based Industries.

Fresh Steps is a brand new work and personal development programme specifically researched, designed and developed for older workers: Through three days of engaging and thought provoking workshops spread over 2 months it aims to help participants identify positive attributes and capitalize on their life and work experience, renewing their motivation and setting new goals aligned with their current values for this next exciting stage of their lives.

The free 2009 Fresh Steps taster takes place 2-4pm on Monday 23rd February at NWEO.

North West Employers Organisation
6th Floor
Delphian House
Riverside
New Bailey Street
Manchester
M3 5AP

Tel: 0161 834 9362
Weblink to free Fresh Steps taster info

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