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Insights from SOLAS report on workers aged 50 and over

SOLAS report examines working conditions for workers aged 50 and over as population of over 50s increases by 330,000 in ten years

Insights from SOLAS report on workers aged 50 and over

Over the last ten years, the population of those aged 50 years and older has increased by a staggering 330,000 people. Based on this finding, SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority, has launched a report into the labour market conditions of older workers. For this study, older workers are classified as those aged 50 and over.

The study illustrates the employment conditions for workers aged between 50-59, highlighting the educational backgrounds and preferred professions of those in the age bracket. The report noted that the workforce participation of this group grew by almost 5% between 2008 and 2018, with the figure rising from 70.9% to 75.3%. SOLAS determined that by providing greater supports for the workers in this bracket, workplace participation will increase in the future.

The report produced enlightening figures regarding the education levels of "older workers". The research shows that of the 425,000 workers aged 50-59 employed in Ireland, just over 40% had an "upper secondary education". Additional findings showed that roughly two thirds of those who possessed third-level qualifications were awarded their qualification prior to 2000.

Responding to these figures, Nikki Gallagher, Director of Communications and Secretariat with SOLAS, emphasised the importance of lifelong learning and alluded to the upskilling and reskilling courses available to "older workers" within the further education and training system. Gallagher added that workers in this age bracket must be given opportunities to reskill to adapt with the rapid technological change across industries.

The report also featured findings on those in the workforce who are aged 60 and over. Just over one fifth (22%) of this age group were in employment. Of this group, 61% were male and 39% female. Just over 38% of the workers in this age range were self-employed. These workers were largely employed in the Agriculture, Health, and Retail sectors.

To find out more about upskilling, reskilling and your education and training options, visit our Adult Learners section here

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