HR departments believe that two thirds of workers aged over 50 do not respond enthusiastically to learning and development programs.
The ‘Learn to Work’ study questioned 100 HR professionals from large British firms and found that they believed that 66% of over-50-year-olds were less willing to learn than their younger colleagues.
Many managers were also considered to be wasting the skills they were taught, with HR reporting that only 43% of managers apply the skills they learn in training courses into the workplace.
The research, carried out on behalf of Thales training consultancy, concluded that the large growth in older workers forecast for the future meant effectively training older staff would soon become crucial.
Recent data from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development found that in the past year there has been a rise of 95,000 men aged over 65 and women over 60 in employment.
The report said that creating a learning and development programme for the more mature workforce required the HR department to consider previous training experiences of the employee. It found individual coaching to be particularly effective for the more experienced worker.
Rachel Kay, business development manager at Thales, said: “Employers need to consider why they are experiencing a lower return on investment from training allocated to the more mature workforce.”
“While employers have begun to realise the value of recruiting and retaining more mature members of staff, they seem to have forgotten the importance of continuing to nurture this talent,” she said.