Ageing workforce: time to retain, retrain and recruit older workers

Written by
Changeboard Team

06 Sep 2016

06 Sep 2016 • by Changeboard Team

Some of the UK’s leading businesses are calling on employers to work harder to retain and recruit older workers. 

Between 2005 and 2015 the number of employed people over the age of 50 has increased by 2.5 million, meaning that by 2022 the economy will need to fill 14.5 million vacancies as employees leave the national workforce. 

It is estimated that only seven million young people will fill these roles, leaving a shortfall of 7.7 million positions to be filled.

In a new report by Business in the Community and the Centre for Ageing Better, business leaders are being urged to consider older candidates to fill these roles.

Andy Briggs, CEO, Aviva UK & Ireland Life and chair of the Business in the Community Age at Work Leadership Team said: “The UK has an ageing population and therefore an ageing workforce. The rising state pension age and the fact that most people are not saving enough for their retirement also create a critical need for the industry to take action to ensure people can work longer.”

The Department of Work and Pensions believes there are one million older people not in work that want to re-enter the workplace. It is estimated that if half of these prospective employees were taken on, the GDP could increase by up to £88billion a year.

Business in the Community are calling for businesses to retrain, retain and recruit, so that older workers can remain an established part of work life.
Rachael Saunders, age at work director, Business in the Community said: “The shift to an ageing workforce needs to be harnessed by business. Retaining, retraining and recruiting older workers is critical to this.

“We no longer have a default retirement age but established social norms entrenched over a long period of time must be addressed to ensure that recruitment and progression are fair for men and women of all ages. Real change is needed to address age bias and discrimination which are barriers to fulfilling work in later life.”