Press release:

CMI responds to Budget 2023

Wednesday 15 March 2023

In response to the Chancellor’s plans to introduce ‘returnerships’ and roll out new skill bootcamps to encourage over-50s back to work, Anthony Painter, the Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) Policy Director, said:

Supporting over-50s back to work, where possible, will be critical to plugging our chronic skills gap, returning to pre-pandemic employment levels, and building an economy which works for all generations. The ‘returnships’ are an important first step.

The Chancellor must prioritise the skills our economy needs, including basic digital skills, the skills needed to succeed in the emerging green economy, and crucially, management and leadership skills. With one in three job postings directly related to leadership, we must couple older workers’ experience with the hard management skills needed to boost Britain’s productivity.

The success of the approach will rely on managers changing their attitudes toward hiring older workers. Our research shows that just four out of 10 (41%) of managers are open to hiring people aged between 50 and 64 ‘to a large extent.’ We need businesses to shake off this stigma and embrace the opportunity to bring in a new wealth of talent.

So the CMI is calling on the UK Government to introduce a ‘Help to Hire’ initiative to help small businesses recruit over-50s. Similar to the Government’s existing Help to Grow: Management scheme, the programme would subsidise leaders in small firms to undertake an intensive course covering everything from adopting digital technology to sourcing new potential markets. A ‘Help to Hire’ scheme would complement the newly-announced returnships for older workers.

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Notes to editors

  • Anthony Painter is available for interview.
  • The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the UK’s leading professional body for leadership and management, delivering development training, qualifications, membership, and research.
  • Older worker attitude polling is based on the CMI’s Managers Voice Pulse Point Poll, which was conducted between 16th February and 23rd February 2023. A total of 1,083 managers took part in the poll.