Busting some myths | Skills Gateway
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Busting some myths

There are many misconceptions about employing older workers. Take a look at the below evidence from research and actual commercial experience that dispel some of these.

MYTH: Older people staying in work takes job opportunities away from young people.


We have a shortfall in the number of young people available to fill vacancies in the coming generation, so older workers are the future.

Plus, research has found no positive effect on youth employment from measures which allow older workers to retire early in order to release jobs for younger workers.¹

Source: ¹ Releasing jobs for the young?’ Institute for Fiscal Studies 2010

MYTH: Older workers just can’t work as well as younger members of the team.


Research from the Health and Safety Executive has shown  older employees can still contribute based on their acquired knowledge and skills.

There is also evidence that cognitive performance does not generally show any marked decrease until after the age of 70, while older employees can still contribute based on their physical ability, especially if they regularly exercise.

MYTH: There is no point in hiring older workers as they will retire quickly, before they have contributed to the business or developed their skills.


Older workers often stay for longer in a post than their younger colleagues.

MYTH: Older workers aren’t interested in developing their skills or learning new ones.
FACT: Many older workers are just as keen to develop their skills as their younger colleagues. Often, however, their training needs can be overlooked.
MYTH: Older workers will miss a lot of work because of ill health or disability.


Like workers of any age, some older people have a long-term disability or illness, but effective management can ensure they can be effective in work - for example, small physical adjustments or flexible working arrangements.

MYTH: Older workers struggle with technology.


As with all skills and age groups, appropriate training will bridge skills gaps.


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Manteision busnes Acorn | Business Benefits Acorn
“We’re committed to providing training and support to all of our employees, regardless of age, and have seen first-hand the business benefits of investing in mature workers, who bring great experience and knowledge to their work."                                                        Ann Nicholas,                   Head of Corporate Development at Acorn