There’s no doubt that people living longer is a good thing. But there are some undeniable knock-on effects of an ageing population.
One is finding the financial resources to help people once they’ve stopped working, another is the fact that there are more people than ever before in employment between 50 and the state pension age.
A new government-backed report called A Vision for Older Workers: Retain, Retrain, Recruit lays out the benefits of having more older people stay in the workforce and highlights how employers can help older workers overcome common barriers like ageism, promotion and training.
Interested in knowing more? Here are the main points covered in the report.
Busting the myths
Contrary to some opinions, older people in the workforce are just as committed and flexible in their approach to employment as their younger colleagues and they are also very ambitious when it comes to starting up new businesses. And experience added to a spectrum of life skills is something that can’t be ignored by employers.
Flexibility has been a key word in employment circles for many years now. The default retirement age has been set aside so that people aren’t forced to stop working at a certain age especially when they are perfectly fit and willing to work on into their late 60s and 70s. Employers are being encouraged to adopt age-friendly policies so people can cut down or even have gap breaks instead of stopping work altogether.
The 3 Rs
Employers are being nudged towards thinking of the 3 Rs: retain, retrain, recruit. Older workers should be kept on in order to have long-established skills remaining within the work environment; there should be ongoing training irrespective of age plus opportunities could be made available for career reviews; any lingering age discrimination which employers may have should be stamped out when it comes to recruitment.
New old people
Old age is in need of rebranding. With people living longer and healthier than before, media representations of elderly people should be updated; the road signs depicting senior people as bent over and with walking sticks have overly negative connotations. Older presenters (especially women) should be used more on television and reports of old people somehow overcoming their age when achieving something is both patronising and unhelpful.
Benefits for all
Later life working has its rewards not just for the individual concerned but for both society and the economy in general. Lengthening the average working life can mean higher national income, lower unemployment, improved relations between the generations, lower poverty for pensioners and improved health and wellbeing.
Do you welcome the chance to work on into your late 60s and 70s?