Views & commentary

Lessons from delivering Midlife MOTs

Views & commentary

Lessons from delivering Midlife MOTs

Midlife MOTs can give people the confidence to steer their own lives

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On 6 December, we hosted a webinar to discuss our latest findings on the impact of Midlife MOTs on people’s attitude and actions towards changes in their lives, especially related finances, career and health. The panel was chaired by Catherine Foot, Director of Phoenix Insights, and we were delighted to be joined by:

  • Jo Churchill MP, Minister for Employment, DWP
  • Andy Briggs, CEO Phoenix Group and Government Business Champion for Older Workers
  • Sara Thompson, Group HR Director, Phoenix Group

The panel shared their strategic view of the potential of Midlife MOTs for government, individuals and employers, with insights on what it is like to actually deliver them, as well as their views on the future of this new intervention.

The government’s offering

The DWP launched their digital Midlife MOT to supplement Jobcentre Plus services last summer. The Minister described Midlife MOTs as a tool to boost 50+ worker’s confidence, noting they have important existing skills and many have an appetite to upskill further. While encouraging employers to support and develop similar MOT tools, she acknowledged the challenge for small business to deliver them at scale. Nonetheless, she was keen to collaborate with employers and get more champions to support 50+ workers to stay in, return to or progress in work.

Opportunities for business

Andy Briggs agreed that it is essential to retain the talents of over 50s in the job market, through age-inclusive recruitment, retention and retraining. Often there are myths about 50+ workers that needed to be busted, such as higher absenteeism which aren’t backed up by evidence. He also discussed the potential business opportunities for financial sectors to deliver MOT-type offers to customers, as it could support the delivery of consumer duty and wider advice/guidance services.

Phoenix Group’s MOT for colleagues

Sara Thompson explained the Phoenix Group’s experience delivering the Midlife MOT as an employer. From an HR and workforce perspective people in midlife 50+ are a crucial part of the workforce, and as employers it is important to give them the right support. Midlife MOTs can provide colleagues a tailored reminder of the support available from their employers, which in turn could show they were cared for at work and help with retention. It also supports employees going through the transition to later life to consider their finances, work and health more holistically to feel better prepared for the future.

Phoenix Insights commissioned the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to conduct an evidence scan and evaluation of the Phoenix Group’s Midlife MOT pilot, which contributed to the programme’s wider rollout within the group in September 2023.

Based on these insights and BIT’s expertise in behavioural science, we published a report with recommendations for potential MOT providers and policy makers to improve the uptake and effectiveness of the intervention in the future, and also a short guide to support employers to develop their own Midlife MOT.