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.
More than 165,000 workers over 50 have joined the hospitality sector in the past three years.
A study by industry recruitment platform Caterer.com reveals that people over 50 now make up over a third (34%) of the sector’s workforce. This proportion is up 14% on February 2020 levels.
More than four in five (84%) hospitality businesses have introduced age-diverse policies and benefits to improve their proposition for this demographic, ranging from re-entry or returner programmes (49%), age-inclusive diversity and inclusion training for all staff (23%) through to flexible scheduling to accommodate individual needs (21%)
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.”