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Drive to re-employ over 50s futile unless companies ditch ageism

Punter Southall Aspire chief executive’s Steve Butler has called on government to tackle ageism in the workplace if it genuinely wants to see an estimated 6.5m people who have retired[i] clock on again. His comments come as new research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)[ii] of more than 1,000 managers found just four out of 10 (42%) were open “to a large extent” to hiring people aged between 50 and 64.

There are calls on government to tackle ageism in the workplace if it genuinely wants to see an estimated 6.5m people who have retired clock on again.

Punter Southall Aspire Chief Executive’s Steve Butler comments come as new research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) of more than 1,000 managers found just four out of 10 (42%) were open “to a large extent” to hiring people aged between 50 and 64.

Steve said: “There has been much talk about getting the over 50s back to work but we need action. As this research shows, many businesses still prefer to hire younger workers.

“If you’re older, you’re likely to be discriminated against, stereotyped as techno-phobic,  lacking ambition or resistant to further training or learning. The reality could not be more different.

“Britain is getting older which mean employers will increasingly need to draw on the skills and experiences older workers offer and must find new, creative ways to both recruit and retain them. Both employers and employees are looking to government as a big part of the answer, he added.”

By 2025, there will be one million more people aged 50-plus: one in three of the working age population in the UK.

“We urge employers to support older workers by offering flexible, hybrid or even part-time working which might suit people’s lifestyles more and  to encourage them to train and refresh their skills. A fresh approach is critically important,” added Steve.

Steve Butler has published four books, including Manage the Gap: Achieving success with intergenerational teams, which looks at the impact of an ageing population on the workforce, and why companies need to focus on employees at every stage of their career, but especially older workers, who can often be overlooked.

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