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Investing in Training 50+ Workers: A Talent Management Strategy

This national survey of workers age 50+ reveals that they exhibit considerable interest in work-related training and believe that training improves their productivity and career prospects. Moreover, the select group of training leaders interviewed for this study indicated that they recognize the benefits of fostering a corporate culture that promotes training for all workers regardless of age, including 50+ workers.

  • Workers age 50+ are highly receptive to training opportunities, particularly those aimed at improving specific business and technical skills.
  • While many 50+ workers believe that their employers do provide sufficient training options, opportunities for improvement exist. For example, more than half of respondents who have taken work-related training say that the training offered to them is not always appropriate for their needs or that participation is not always possible due to busy schedules.
  • Workers believe that training improves their productivity and career prospects, while organizations point to retention as an important outcome.

The findings from the study should dispel many of the doubts employers may still harbor about the value of making training investments in the 50+ workforce, as well as concerns about how mature workers view such training. If the study findings reveal a call to action, it is for organizations to more closely match their training investments to both enterprise strategy and employee needs to ensure that their organizations remain competitive in today’s challenging business environment.

The nationally representative survey of 1,048 workers ages 50+ who work full- or part-time at companies with at least 10 employees was administered for AARP in December 2006 by Knowledge Networks using its nationally representative online panel. Towers Perrin wrote the report for AARP and conducted the interviews with 20 human resource and training executives at companies identified as likely to have strong training and development programs. For more information about the report, please contact S. Kathi Brown at (202) 434-6296. 

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