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Home > News > March 2006 > 14-Mar-2006

Experience counts for older workers

A new Scottish Executive initiative which aims to help older workers develop and improve their employability skills was launched yesterday by Deputy Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Minister Allan Wilson.

Experience Counts - backed by £500,000 funding - has been set up in partnership with the Skills for Business Network in Scotland. As part of the initiative, older workers will be offered courses in areas like communication, team working and customer care.

Mr Wilson said: "Scotland has an ageing and shrinking population, so older people will form an increasingly large and important part of our workforce over the coming decades.

"There are currently more than 620,000 people aged 50 and over in employment in Scotland. This represents over a quarter of our total workforce. Research also shows that 70 per cent of the workforce in 2020 is already in employment today.

"As a result, we must encourage employers to engage more effectively with older workers and ensure that they are provided with the skills they need to continue to play a productive role in Scotland's economy.

"Through Experience Counts, older people will have access to training opportunities which give them greater confidence and better equip them to carry out their job. This might include courses in communication skills, customer care or problem solving.

"Older people can bring valuable experience and talent to the workplace. By tapping into this vital resource and addressing the skills needs of this important section of our workforce, we can help Scotland's economy to grow."

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