Older workers learn from younger colleagues

Many older workers are learning new skills from far younger counterparts, according to government employment agency Jobcentre Plus.

It found that 40% of workers aged 50 or over polled in a recent survey said their younger colleagues have taught skills they did not have. Some 75% of younger workers – 18- to 24-year-olds – said older workers had taught them skills they did not have.

These rates varied from sector to sector. In the manufacturing sector, 87% of younger workers said colleagues aged 50 or over had taught them skills that were new to them. Some 38% of older respondents in that sector said younger colleagues had taught them skills they previously did not have.

Equivalent figures for the public and retail sectors were 72% and 40%, and 76% and 35%, respectively.

The survey also found that 73% of younger people cited money as the main reason they went to work compared to 52% for older staff. The findings were based on an August telephone poll of 750 staff aged 18 to 24, and 750 aged 50 or over.

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