Wednesday 21 August 2019

Rise of 330,000 over-50s in a decade as Solas calls for retraining

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Anne-Marie Walsh

The number of people in their 50s at work has jumped by almost 5pc in the last 10 years.

Their employment rate rose from 70.9pc in 2008 to 75.3pc last year.

This was driven by a rise in older women at work and came at a time when the overall portion of the total population in employment fell slightly.

Overall, the number of over-50s in the State has surged by 330,000 in the last decade.

This means there were 1.53 million people aged 50 and over at the end of last year, according to a new report by the further education and training authority, Solas.

There were 591,000 people between 50 and 59 resident in the State at the end of 2018, and of these 425,800 had jobs.

Of these, 45pc of women had a third-level qualification compared with 37pc of men. Almost two-thirds of them graduated before 2000.

In addition, more than 176,000 had a secondary school education or less. The report pinpointed this group as being potentially most in need of upskilling.

Additional research on the over-60s shows just one in five of them had jobs and most are men.

Some 38pc of the over-60s workforce were self-employed, while the agriculture, health, wholesale and retail industries were their biggest employers.

There were 935,000 persons aged 60 years or more resident in the State at the end of last year. Only 22pc had jobs.

Solas director of communications Nikki Gallagher said technological change will have an impact on older people in administrative, sales and operative roles and measures must be put in place to ensure they can reskill.

Irish Independent

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