Employers see older workers as answer to skills shortages

Half of UK employers are ready to take on more older workers to meet the growing skills shortage but most employees will not work beyond the age of 65, research by Manpower employment consultancy showed.

The survey of 2,122 UK companies and 1,085 workers revealed that 52% wanted to employ staff beyond the age of 65. But 81% of staff questioned said they would not want to continue working into their late 60s.

Seven out of 10 employers also said they would offer flexible working in the next 10 years with most (84%) saying it would improve staff retention levels.

But just 63% of workers expected to work flexible hours in the future.

Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower UK, said: “The world of work is changing at a faster pace than ever before. Flexibility is very much at the front of mind for both employers and workers.”

Only one-quarter (25%) of businesses said their workers would spend more time working from home and just 15% of workers indicated this would be something they desired.

Cahill said: “Employers have to listen to the concerns of workers – but employees also need to be aware of the needs of business. The challenge is for employers and employees to get the balance right.”

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