Last updated: 18.05.15

Employers should encourage staff to continue working into later life

Businesses and government members should work hard to tackle the challenges to employment older workers face and to encourage people aged over 50 to stay in employment for longer, a new report has urged.

The report - entitled The Missing Million: Recommendations for Action - released by Business in the Community's Age at Work campaign, revealed that more than one million people aged over 50 have been forced out of employment due to issues such as health problems or redundancy.

It also showed that when it comes to finding and staying in employment, older individuals face problems such as age-related bias or a poor understanding of their needs.

The ageing population in the UK is set to expand over the coming years, with predictions that the number of people aged over 65 will almost double from ten million to 19 million by 2050. This means that the state pension age will also increase in line with life expectancy, with many people likely to be working up until they reach 70 years and over.

Rachael Saunders, Business in the Community's Age at Work director, said: "By 2022, 12.5 million new jobs will open up as people leave the workforce, and an additional two million new jobs will be created, yet there will only be 7 million younger people to fill these vacancies. We are facing a recruitment black hole of 7.5 million."

The report calls for business and government leaders to take action, calling for measures including paid leave for carers, a national skills strategy with IT training, and better integration of health and social care services with employment.

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