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Skills in a diverse and ageing society – future workforce issues Professor Sue Yeandle Director Centre for Social Inclusion Sheffield Hallam University.

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Presentation on theme: "Skills in a diverse and ageing society – future workforce issues Professor Sue Yeandle Director Centre for Social Inclusion Sheffield Hallam University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Skills in a diverse and ageing society – future workforce issues Professor Sue Yeandle Director Centre for Social Inclusion Sheffield Hallam University

2 Outline of this presentation  Projected job growth in England  Making better use of the skills of women workers Evidence from our Gender and Employment in Local Labour Markets project  Understanding the older workforce Issues from my review of Older Workers & Work- life Balance  Some challenging policy questions Opportunity for discussion and debate

3 Projected changes in employment by sector, England  Education  Health & Social Work  Professional Services  Retail Distribution  Computing & related  Other Business Services  Miscellaneous Services +132, , , , , , ,000 Source: LSC Skills in England 2004 (2005) Total above sectors: +1.7 million

4 Projected changes in employment by occupation, England  Corporate Managers  Caring personal service occs.  Business & public service occs.  Teaching & research professionals  Science & technology professionals  Sales occupations  Business & public service professionals  Cultural, media & sports occs.  Customer service occs.  Science associate professionals  Health associate professionals +567, , , , , , , , , , ,000 Total above occupations: +1.6 million Source: LSC Skills in England 2004 (2005)

5 Characteristics of growth jobs….. 24/7 Qualified Part-time Interpersonal skills Flexible Female Home-based Experienced Peripatetic

6 Making better use of the skills of women workers What’s the rationale for our focus on Gender and Employment in Local Labour Markets?  Participation in the labour market is highly gendered: - occupations - industrial sectors - working patterns  Most employment is 'local' to where people live – especially women  Little previous analysis of gender- disaggregated data at county/district level  Good data on women's / men's is circumstances crucial for key debates

7 Evidence from our new research exploring: Are Women Working Below Potential?  Women working under their proven or latent potential: not using skills, experience, qualifications in current job actively pursuing clear & contemporary career ambitions  Our study:20 workplaces – survey of 220 PT workers; qualitative interviews with PTemployees and senior managers  Managers typically claim that 'only one or two' of their part- time women employees are over-qualified - yet 30-40% are working below potential  New representative national survey shows over 50% of women aged working PT are working below their proven past potential.  In Britain, 2 million women aged are employed part- time in jobs which do not use all their skills and potential  5 categories emerge from our new analysis of women ’ s part-time employment (led by Dr Linda Grant)

8 5 categories of working below potential among part-time employees 1. Constrained by a limited labour market  lack of good quality part-time jobs on open labour market  bored in their jobs, lost confidence, skills now obsolete, feel trapped in low paid work  They need…support/guidance to realise their potential, and openly advertised higher level PT jobs 2. Facing restricted workplace opportunities Content with field of employment, no opportunities for promotion as PT workers in their workplace felt they were in 'dead end jobs‘ They need… clear career paths, promotion opportunities & job enrichment for PT workers in every workplace

9 3. Withdrawn from previous more demanding jobs due to the intensity of work unhappy with the demanding nature of previous employment, transition to lower status work a source of regret, often struggling with living on low pay They need…genuine work-life balance policy and practices to overcome the effects of intensity of work and to retain job skills 4. Apparently content to work below their potential no plans to recapture previous place in LM, knew not using their skills, often bored at work - but PT hours, proximity to home, absence of pressure, time for home, children, etc. outweighed tedium/ low pay 5. Taking steps to realise their potential in transition to a new higher paid job, engaged in study or training, drawing on their own resources to make transition They need…financial support and enhanced, flexible opportunities for training and education if they are to regain their lost status and make their full contribution

10 Working Below Potential: Women and Part-Time Work by Linda Grant, Sue Yeandle & Lisa Buckner This report will be published by the EOC, which has provided additional grant aid, and will be available from CSI, in summer The project is one of a series of studies within the Gender and Employment in Local Labour Markets project directed by Professor Sue Yeandle at the Centre for Social Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University. The project is supported with a major ESF grant and additional contributions from the EOC, TUC and 12 English local authorities Available NOW as free download pdf files: our Gender Profiles of Local Labour Markets for the districts of Birmingham, Camden, East Staffordshire, Leicester, Newcastle, Sandwell, Somerset, Thurrock, Wakefield and West Sussex, by Lisa Buckner, Ning Tang and Sue Yeandle:

11 Understanding the older workforce: variety in experiences of work  Steady/stable – no further career aspirations  Feeling vulnerable through reduced capability or skills no longer up to date  Reputation, status, achievement still growing and with more to offer  More committed, fuller contribution than in earlier life stages  More confident, ready for different challenges or for self employment  Less assured, and worried about being displaced by younger colleagues

12 Orientations to Work in Later Life also vary  Instrumental: focus on pay and pensions  Social: value on contacts and friendships  Value-driven: strong work ethic  Identity – committed to using skills & expertise  Job satisfaction – like the nature of work, the familiarity of work routines Whatever the orientation…..  Attitudes will be influenced by youthful experiences, and  Work-ending will be coming into view

13 Questions older workers may be considering  Why do I want to change my style of working or the work I do at this point?  Do I want to change my job, my career or my employer – or all of these?  Do I want to work shorter hours each week, or would longer periods of leave suit me best?  How much do I want/need to earn from employment – how will changes affect my pension and later-life financial circumstances?  Who can I turn to for advice about how to manage the latter years of my working life?

14 Older workers: a typology  Career Changers – CC  Downshifters – DS  Exit Strategists – ES  Rejected Workers – RW  Reluctant Quitters – RQ  Identity Maintainers – IM  Workers Till They Drop – WD

15 Policies needed to support different groups  CC  DS  ES  RW  RQ  IM  WD  Life-long learning; training; portable pensions; vocational guidance; age discrimination protection  Financial information; vocational guidance; portable pensions  Financial information; secure pension; phased exit/reduced hours options; pension/part-time option  Vocational guidance; fair recruitment; training; pension protection  Reduced hours/flexible employment; career breaks /extended leave; career support; dependable social care  Self-employment; consultancy options; pension/part-time employment options  Income guarantees; health promotion; pensions/tax credit information; lifelong learning; not to be ‘written off’ as incapable of progression or training

16 Some discussion questions How can we adapt LM opportunities, structures & job design for an older workforce? What needs to be done in relation to: Job Structure Organisational Culture Human Resource Management/Workforce Planning Training & Re-Skilling Pensions Job Offers/Demand for Labour Can we adapt to use women’s full potential, & find ways of upgrading PT opportunities? Can we afford NOT to?

17 Older Workers and Work-Life Balance by Sue Yeandle © Sheffield Hallam University Published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2005 A paper commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Produced with statistical support from Dr Lisa Buckner and additional research by Dr Pamela Fisher. Thanks to Donald Hirsch, JRF Adviser, for his comments and suggestions. Downloadable version of the paper is available from either of: For information contact Sue Yeandle: Tel


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