A couple of generations ago, many people would have been planning retirement by the time they reached their 50s.
But now that we are living longer, we also have to work longer to support ourselves. In some cases, that means starting on a new career path late in life.
Barclays is about to launch its first banking apprenticeship scheme exclusively for people over 50, to help those who have been forced out of their previous jobs or just want to try something different.
Around one million people in the UK aged between 50 and 64 have lost jobs through redundancy, ill health or early retirement, according to research for Prime, a charity for business creation among the over-50s.
Barclays told The Sunday Times that those accepted on the scheme will be expected to work their way up from the bottom, just like graduates. Whether or not they will receive the same level as younger employees is still to be decided by the bank. Pay for apprentices aged between 16 and 24 is around £9.15 an hour in London.
Mike Thompson, head of apprenticeships at Barclays, believes the older generation will bring new skills to the table. “Older people have more life experience, and can show more empathy. They will have had a mortgage, they will know how to budget and how to support customers,” he said.
The programme will begin in the autumn, and will involve teaching skills such as the calculation of credit risks and the criteria for approving a loan. If they progress, the older recruits could soon be advising business clients on their plans for growth and investment decisions.