The Institute of the Economic Affairs (IEA) study, which suggests that retiring is bad for our health, combined with the new figures from the Office for National Statistics highlighting that the number of UK workers over 65 has reached a record high, confirms what we have known for a long time: the UK has and will continue to have, a rising number of older workers.
The IEA argues that the Government should increase the pension age and encourage people to work later in life in order to boost the economy and improve health. However, while enabling the older generation to remain in the workplace for longer is no doubt a vital step in addressing the issue of an ageing population, it will only work if accompanied by a change in thinking by organisations. This includes reworking HR policies and practices to meet the needs of this growing number of older workers in UK businesses and changing the common stereotypes associated with this demographic.
Recent research shows that 92 per cent of UK CEOs currently don’t invest in training and development for the over 60’s, but if we are to remain in the workplace longer then this has got to change.
Employees are often considered an organisation’s best asset, yet many are failing to recognise the value of the older generation, whose numbers in the workforce are only going to grow. Organisations must consider and prepare for this shift now, or risk damaging the future development of their business. With growth in our ageing workforce and bodies such as the Institute of Economic Affairs calling for an increase in pension age, it is time for businesses to take note and not ignore this valuable part of its workforce. If forgotten and not given the appropriate key training, it will be businesses that miss out on this untapped resource that is the experienced and loyal worker.