This week is National Older Workers Week!
Currently, one in three workers will be aged 50 or over by 2025, and the number of older workers in the UK labour market has grown by one million since 2000 alone.
This week (20-24) November, WM People will be hosting free online events and Career Fair to shine a light on the #AgeDiversity campaign.
“The population is ageing now. As a society, we have delayed addressing the issue of age diversity in the workforce, but it cannot be avoided and those who prepare now, who have the structures in place to support a multigenerational workforce, will benefit the most,” says Gillian Nissim, Founder of WM People.
Last month Skills for Care published its annual report on the state of the adult social care workforce in England, revealing a “dire” situation. The job vacancy rate – one measure of workforce shortages – fell from a record 10.6% in 2021/22 to 9.9% in 2022/23 but remained above pre-pandemic levels. In comparison, the vacancy rate for the entire UK economy for the same period was around 3%
In July 2021, the IEP and Centre for Ageing Better launched the Employability Support for Over 50s Accredited Learning qualification to combat this age group’s historically worse outcomes from employment support services. This programme has been hugely successful as it helps employability practitioners understand the issues facing over 50s jobseekers and how they can be best supported back into work.
The latest figures – including the rising numbers of people choosing to continue working full-time up to and beyond the state pension age – stress the importance of older workers to the economy in filling labour and skills shortage, says Dr Karen Hancock of Centre for Ageing Better.
“Workers with up to 50 years of workplace experience have an incredible wealth of knowledge to share and which will be to the benefit of employers, co-workers and customers,” says the Research and Policy Officer.
“Around half of the substantial growth in numbers of 65-plus workers since 2000 is down to demographics and the growth in the older population. The raising of the state pension age for men and women has also been a factor in increasing employment rates. Moving the goalposts on planned retirement dates may have compelled some to continue working into their late 60s to help their financial situation.
“But the increase also includes a growth in older workers who feel well enough to continue working and who want to continue reaping the financial and wellbeing benefits of remaining in work.”