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Category: Industry News, age discrimination, over 50s, companies, skills
Businesses which do not ‘tap into’ the supply of older workers will face major recruitment challenges in the future, it said.
According to the report, a total of 14.5 million job vacancies will open up between 2012 and 2022 through people leaving the workforce and an expansion of the labour market.
The report urged businesses to help older workers refresh their skills and re-train, as well as ensuring that staff in charge of recruitment were trained to spot their own unconscious bias against older workers.
It also urged firms to offer more flexible hours, where necessary, so workers could care for loved ones or gradually wind down to retirement – rather than stop work all together.
The report said: ‘Not only are older members of the population likely to need more years earnings in order to finance their own retirement, but businesses will need to tap into this talent pool in order to fill their own particular labour and skills needs.
‘Figures on vacancies suggest that a primary source of workers in the future will need to come from preventing unnecessary exit from the labour market.
‘Businesses will have a greater need to retain their workers as they age.’
Business in the Community, of which The Prince of Wales is the President, campaigns for responsible business practice.
Listing a series of recommendations for the next Government, it stressed the importance of apprenticeships and IT skills training for the over-50s.
It also called for up to 10 days of paid ‘care leave’ to bring support for carers on a par with support for parents.
The report emphasised the huge benefits of employing more experienced staff, saying ‘adapting to ageing makes business sense’.
It said: 'Staff members who have been engaged in a role for some time have developed an extensive amount of industry or firm-specific knowledge and expertise that can only be gained from years on the job.
‘This kind of familiarity is not something that is readily available from new hires and is difficult and expensive to replace.
‘Employers that do not look to keeping more of their older workers will be at greater risk in the future of losing this vital advantage and the real financial benefits it confers.’
The report said over-50s made up a third of the workforce, with 9.2 million in employment out of 31 million.
But, with the number of people aged over 65 set to double by 2050, they said it was ‘crucial’ that people are able to work up to and beyond state pension age to fund an ageing population.
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