According to a new government-backed report, people working on into their 50s actually help create more jobs – not fewer.
With life expectancy increasing, older people are not necessarily looking towards retirement. And keeping them on can also boost the prospects of higher wages for younger employees.
“This latest report, by the government-appointed champion for older workers, suggests that extending working lives could add as much as £55bn a year to the UK economy – and I certainly support this,” says Rob Dolbear, managing director of relocation specialist, HCR.
“Even one extra year worked by everyone could add one percent to the annual GDP – and that has to be a good thing for everyone.
“In my view, anyone with that much experience has a huge amount to offer any business. If they are capable of carrying out duties within a given role, I believe they can bring a tremendous amount of productivity to any team.
“Older people who are still working, theoretically, means they have more money to spend – and this is likely to boost the economy. It sounds simple – but I agree that the knock on effect of this would be more jobs for everyone. The number is not fixed. So, the more spending power, the more work – and so the cycle continues.”
By 2022, the government expects the 700,000 fewer people aged between 16 and 49, with the rate of immigration unable to make up the shortfall.
“This is definitely the time to rid the workplace of ageism,” adds Rob. “Despite everything they have to offer, mature workers still face the spectre of negative stereotypes, with some employers considering them a risk – more prone to ill health and resistant to change.
“Companies displaying this type of discrimination can not only find themselves on the wrong side of the law, they can limit their own development opportunities.
“It is a myth that baby boomers in the workforce are taking jobs from the young. Historically, a higher number of older workers has benefited younger generations.
“”In the 1950s, more than 90 per cent of men aged 60 to 64 were working. That figure is now around 50 per cent.
“It is up to us as employers to ensure workers are given every opportunity without hindrance from unnecessary cultural, organisational and psychological challenges and barriers.
“Older workers should be considered to be a valuable asset. Many possess a range of attributes – including a strong work ethic, reliability, loyalty, business experience and specialised skills. The most important thing is to ensure over 50s have everything they need to continue developing throughout their working lives – however long that might turn out to be.”