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Employers must employ 1M more older workers by 2022

Category: Industry News, community, Government, awareness, knowledge, skills gap, ambitious

Employers must employ 1M more older workers by 2022

New campaign aims to stem loss of knowledge when older staff leave, to fill 7.5m jobs and to add billions to UK GDP

Targets to bring an additional one million older people into the workforce have been announced today in a bid to head off a looming labour shortage in the UK.

Employers are being called upon to lift the number of working people between the ages of 50 and 69 by 12 per cent within the next five years. The call from Aviva Life chief executive Andy Briggs, the government's “business champion” for older workers, is aimed at reversing a widening skills gap.

“One million older people in work by 2022 is an ambitious yet necessary target,” Briggs said.

“There are 15 million people of this age group in the labour market, yet only nine million are in work. We want to get this to 10 million by 2022.”

The push is being launched amid growing awareness of the breadth and depth of knowledge lost when older staff leave the workforce.

The overall employment rate for people aged 50-69 is 59 per cent, compared to 84 per cent employment in the highest age group of those between 45 and 49. Employment among those aged 50 to 64 is 70 per cent, falling away to 21 per cent of those aged 65 to 69.

According to the charity Business in the Community, which is working with Briggs to boost older employment rates, the proportion of those working aged 50 to 69 must rise to 66 per cent by 2022 to begin addressing a growing skills gap.

It is estimated that there will be 14.5 million more jobs to fill by 2022, but only seven million younger people coming into the workforce, leaving 7.5 million roles unfilled.

“Many people aged over 50 want to continue to develop their careers, learn new skills, try new things and also share their broad knowledge and experience,” Briggs added.

“This is good for everyone, and particularly for employers and their businesses who will benefit from drawing on the talent, creativity and experience of all of their employees, regardless of age.”

It has been estimated that if the employment rate of those aged 50 to 64 matched that of those aged 35 to 49, it would add more than £88bn to UK GDP.

“This is good for everyone, and particularly for employers and their businesses who will benefit from drawing on the talent, creativity and experience of all of their employees, regardless of age.”

It has been estimated that if the employment rate of those aged 50 to 64 matched that of those aged 35 to 49, it would add more than £88bn to UK GDP.

Groups such as Business in the Community and the Centre for Ageing Better – which today releases a separate report into what older people want from work – are helping employers identify and dismantle the barriers to tapping into this pool of talent.

“Our role is to raise awareness of the injustice facing so many older workers and people in the UK,” said Rachael Saunders, the age at work director for Business in the Community.

“The over 50s are a key part of the UK workforce and employers need to open their eyes to this talent pool. We are here to provide employers with the practical guidance and support they need to take action.”

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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