Helen Green

Leading an ageing workforce

There are more than 10 million people in the workforce today who are aged over fifty and the number is growing. So much so that by 2020 a third of the workforce will be over 50. Of those currently in the workforce, 63% are now looking to retire later than they thought they would ten years ago.

These older workers have a lot to offer. So much so that a recent survey by Aviva highlighted that people in this age bracket are more confident about having relevant skills and keeping up with the changing workplace than those aged 24 to 35. Despite this, the Aviva survey revealed that 44% of workers in the 50+ bracket feel unsupported by their employer.

Is this down to age discrimination; a problem which the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee recently identified as being behind the locking out of more than 1 million people from the workforce? Or perhaps the confidence in their own abilities displayed by older workers is part of their own downfall, leading employers to concentrate on those who are newer in the workforce. Whatever the reason, perhaps it’s time for leaders to step up and do more to support and value older workers.