About the Age at Work project

Age at Work, which is jointly led by Age NI and Business in the Community Northern Ireland will support older workers (50+) to remain/return to work in order to help them have enough income, stay connected and have a fuller working life. 

As part of the project, Age NI will support 1000+ individuals seeking a refresh of their current role, skills and prospects by providing tailored Mid Career Reviews. The aim of these is to increase the confidence, skills and opportunities to remain in work for those who wish to do so.

Meet Rosie our Life and work co-ordinator who will be helping to support older people with Mid Career Reviews. Find out more about her role and how she can support you. 

Can you outline a bit about your career history and experience to date?

I have over 25 years experience in the community/voluntary sector supporting individuals to progress in their lives. Prior to working at Age NI, I worked as a Wellbeing Coach where I supported individuals furthest removed from the labour market. In this role, I provided intensive one to one support to develop confidence, motivation, reduce stress and create positive thought patterns to enable individuals to retrain and seek employment opportunities. Previously I worked as a Coordinator for Contact NI, managing counselling projects to support individuals who had experienced trauma and to find recovery through counselling or creative arts therapy. I also worked on the 24/7 Lifeline service providing counselling support to individuals in crisis. 

What motivated you to join Age NI?

I have gained extensive experience in training and employment, counselling and coaching supporting by providing one to one support and group workshops to support individuals to realise their potential I believe I can bring my experience and skills to support older workers to explore their options and make informed choices about their future working lives.

Can you tell me a bit about your role as Age at Work Co-Ordinator? What will this involve?

As part of my role, I will:

  • Lead on the development of a mid-career toolkit and digital platform for individuals
  • Encourage and support older workers to undertake mid-career reviews
  • Carry out age-focused skills audits to identify areas of support for older workers
  • Provide group sessions and one to one support.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing older workers?

Most older people enjoy their work and would like to stay in work longer, however many factors work against this, including traditional expectations of retirement, low levels of training, age discrimination and poor human resource management.  Increased health problems or caring responsibilities may also cause an early exit from the workplace. Sadly, many also lack confidence in themselves and their own abilities with many people drifting towards retirement with no plan for their future.

How will the Mid Career Reviews help older people?

The aim of the Mid Career reviews is to help people to think and plan the later stages of their working lives: to make informed decisions about changing jobs or career; about how to manage health and caring responsibilities. Unfortunately, there are very little opportunities available for people to get this kind of advice so many people drift towards retirement with no clear plan, becoming steadily less productive and motivated, and eventually leave earlier than is good for them as individuals, for the economy, and for society at large. 

I’ll be working with people to make informed decisions about retirement timing and phasing, reviewing their career and any health issues that may impact on their working lives, and encourage them to seek appropriate support where necessary. If individuals have access to good mid-career advice they are better able to clarify their aspirations for work and to understand the options open to them in terms of job and career change, training, flexible working and retirement. 

Why do you think it’s important for people to stay in work, if that’s what they wish?

The majority of people want to work longer, for identity and status, financial considerations and not least social engagement.  Despite this, approximately one million older people have been pushed out of work through a combination of redundancy, ill health or early retirement.  (Business in the Community, Mid-Life Career Review Toolkit). 

A mid-career review would enable older workers to take control of decisions about their work, their work-life balance, finances, health and retirement. This would result in older workers being more motivated, productive and informed about their future working lives.

How do people sign up for a Mid Career review?

If you are interested in a Mid Career Review or if you simply want to find out more, go to our Age at work page, fill in the contact form, and I will get in touch with you directly, to provide you with more information.