WIP Gary Eimerman

Flipping the ‘Great Retirement’ to the ‘Great Unretirement’

A conversation with Gary Eimerman, chief learning officer, Multiverse

In this episode of the Work in Progress podcast, I’m joined by Gary Eimerman, chief learning officer of Multiverse, to discuss the company’s new report on the continuing trend of workers over the age of 50 retiring early – the Great Retirement – and what can be done to retain employees thinking about leaving and bring those who have already left back into the workforce.

Hint: It has to do with reskilling. To be more precise, it has to do with employers offering them the opportunity to reskill and learn the newest technology being used in their jobs and professions today.

In Multiverse’s new report The Great Unretirement, the company says its analysis shows that there are over 2.4 million workers in the U.S. and another 450,000 in the U.K. who are thinking about leaving the labor market early because they can’t keep up with the skills demanded of the modern workplace.

“Technology has become pervasive in every single industry and every single role. That whole ‘software is eating the world,’ it’s absolutely come true. And the speed that technology is evolving at is accelerating. It’s not slowing down,” says Eimerman.

I ask him what I think are a couple of key questions: What’s the point of new technology if there is no one around who can actually use it? How can you flip the Great Retirement to the Great Unretirement?

“You just hit on the number one reason why having skills development strategies in an organization is so critical to being successful for any objective – whether it be a cloud transformation or (adding) AI into a business – whatever it might be. We’re already sitting here looking at all the shortages,” he points out.

“I get to talk with executives at some of the largest companies from around the world day in and day out, and they’re saying ‘We just don’t have enough security professionals, or we don’t have enough people who understand AI, or whatever it might be. Well, yeah, you’ve got to actually develop them. There’s a simple, simple solution to this.”

He says that the systems and practices that we’ve had around skills development haven’t kept up with that change and when you are talking about workers in their 50s and 60s – workers that might have had their last formal education in their early 20s – on-the-job training is key to updating their skill sets.

“If you dig a little bit deeper into the (report) data, four in 10 workers (40%) would be willing to stay longer if employers actually offer them true training and development and new skills at that company. Another data point on the workers interested in retiring in the next 12 months – 16% said that they’d actually change their mind if the employer would support training. Right there, you’re looking at almost half the people looking to leave your business who would be willing to stay if you just focus on skill development,” Eimerman adds.

Multiverse started partnering with businesses to offer apprenticeships focused on “skills of the future” in the U.K. in 2016 and expanded to the U.S. in 2021. The company has now trained over 10,000 professional apprentices with more than 1,000 global employers.

“The focus is tech, but the reality is this tech has expanded across every single industry. We’re working everything from fintech to retail. Part of our mission is to unlock economic opportunity for everyone and have that equality component and the best jobs right now around the globe are in technology,” says Eimerman.

He continues, “But I wanna be very clear, Multiverse is not just a technology training company. We’re working directly with a retail company on evolving how technology fits into their retail sales and actually front-of-the-store type training. And so really excited about continuing to grow the number of apprentice programs and create just a platform for everyone and anyone to be able to bring apprenticeships to their own role and skill needs in a way that hasn’t been done at scale.”

Getting back to the older worker, Eimerman points out that “one of every five of our apprentices is 40 or over, so we’re already working with a significant number of folks that have been in the industry for a couple years.”

“Before I joined Multiverse, I thought apprenticeships as a career starter, an It’s alternative to college. Yes, it is that and it’s so much more. This works at all levels and all stages of someone’s career. Career starter, upskiller, reskiller, it’s not unique to any one of those. We can ultimately do it together in every stage of our journey,” he concludes.

December 7, 2023 Update: The new report from Multiverse can be found here.

You can listen to the full conversation with Eimerman here on this page, or download it wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode 296: Gary Eimerman, Chief Learning Officer, Multiverse
Host & Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch and Melissa Panzer
Theme Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4

You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts