People don’t have a best before date

An Employer’s Guide to employing and training older workers

Wales’ workforce is getting older and there will increasingly be a lack of young people to fill vacancies.

Simply put, older workers are vital for the future of our economy and our businesses and we need to challenge our perceptions of an older person and what they can do.

Surprisingly to some, an  older worker is defined as someone who is age 50 or above.

An ageing population and workforce means that making work more inclusive for older workers will be increasingly important for employees, employers and the economy.

Retaining people, developing their skills throughout their working life and recruiting older workers have never been more critical to business survival as well as growth.

The time to plan for an ageing workforce is now, not just for larger businesses but also for SMEs, where the loss of skills and cost of recruitment can be more consequential.

All the information here is drawn from the experience of employers who have seen the commercial benefits of employing a multigenerational workforce.

We’ve included case studies and research to show the reality of what older employees can bring to business, busting some ageist myths along the way.


Next: How can Older Workers help my business?

Employer Toolkit: Guidance for Managers of Older Workers
  • Our workforce is getting older and young people joining the labour market will not fill all of the vacancies.
  • Within five years 1 in 3 people of working age in Wales will be over 50.

How can Older Workers help my business?

Retaining, training and recruiting older workers will ensure you have the employees you need as fewer young people join the labour market.

Busting some myths

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

What can I do?

To combat the looming worker shortage, large and small employers alike can take steps to train, retain and recruit older workers.

5 compelling reasons for businesses to invest in older workers

Did you know? Within the next five years, one in three people of working age in Wales will be over the age of 50.

The demographics
  • ​In the next ten years, UK businesses will need to fill 13.5 million job vacancies, but only 7 million young people will leave school and college¹
  • Current net immigration is around 200,000 people per year² and the UK Government is committed to reducing this. Brexit will also reduce the availability of migrant labour.
  • People are living and staying healthy for longer: most of today’s 65-year-olds will live beyond 80, and some will live beyond 110³
  • Over 50% of workers aged 55+ are planning to work beyond 65⁴

Sources: ¹ UKCES 2010/GAD; ² ONS 2011; ³ Government Actuary Department; ⁴ CIPD 2010