The labour shortage has been called the most urgent problem facing the UK economy.
Workers in their 50s and 60s are key to resolving an employment crisis unmatched among the UK’s G7 peers.
Our workforce needs to reflect the nation’s demographic shift. In the last ten years, the UK’s population aged 50-69 has grown by 1.7 million people – while the population of 20-49 year olds has fallen.
Multigenerational workforces drive productivity and innovation. Businesses with a 10 per cent higher-than-average share of workers over 50 are 1.1 per cent more productive – and multigenerational teams are the most innovative.
There are nearly one million people aged 50-64 who are not in work but would like to be, and more might consider returning if the right jobs and workplaces were available. But only half of employers cover age in their EDI policies, and one in six have firm plans to introduce age inclusion policies in the next year.
For savvy employers who recognise the importance of older workers and want to make their business a more attractive proposition, help is at hand. The Centre for Ageing Better has launched an Age-friendly Employer Pledge to help organisations reap the benefits of an intergenerational workforce.
Employers who sign will take action to improve the recruitment, retention and development of workers aged over 50. They will be supported by guidance from the Centre for Ageing Better and a network of age-inclusive employers.
The time is now for employers to find new solutions to their skills and labour shortages. The time is now for employers to realise the potential and benefits of older workers. The time is now for employers to sign the pledge.
To sign the Age-friendly Employer Pledge or for more information, visit Ageing Better’s website.