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.

Many people may need to work longer in response to the increase of the State Pension age which will rise to 66 by 2020 and 67 by 2028.

But the gains are about quality as much as quantity. Employers report many benefits to employing older people as part of a multi-generational workforce – and also record the risks of not doing so.

  • a broader range of skills and experience
  • transfer of skills across the workforce through mentoring
  • older workers tend to stay longer so you benefit from lower staff turnover and therefore recruitment costs
  • improved staff morale
  • opportunity to mirror customers – who are also ageing!
  • loyal, reliable, committed and conscientious

  • skills shortage that will impact your business
  • loss of longstanding workers’ experience and knowledge
  • underperformance of staff demotivated by lack of development opportunities
  • premature exit of staff through lack of flexible work or phased retirement options
  • age discrimination claims and associated costs
  • unnecessary and expensive recruitment costs.

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 

Business Benefits

Suppliers to the automotive industry, South Wales Forgemasters in Cardiff, say the age diversity of its workforce:

  • helps to recruit and retain skills in a business where it’s hard to attract workers into heavy duty metal processing
  • ensures very low turnover of staff
  • allows older workers to support new workers from a practical and personal perspective