To continue reading please register or login to your OHW+ account.
Profound changes to the demographic of working people are taking place. Employers should not ignore this and must ask themselves how they will adapt and provide for an ageing workforce.
The Office for National Statistics predicts that there will be 3.7 million more workers aged between 50 and state pension age over the next decade. During the same period, there will be 700,000 fewer working people aged between 16 and 41.
Training and development
A recent survey of small to medium-sized businesses showed that most employers agreed that training and skills development is critical in ensuring that mature employees can work effectively up to the age of 60 and beyond. They also agreed that such training represented a good return on investment because those employees are more likely to remain engaged with the business.
When it comes to training and development, employers should always comply with their legal obligations on age and disability under The Equality Act 2010. They should offer training and development to their whole workforce rather than targeting a particular age group. ACAS guidance states that an employer should avoid stereotypes and not make assumptions about an individual's needs based on their age or length of experience.
An Age UK report in 2013 said that, for the first time, the number of people aged 65 and over who had used the internet had overtaken those who had never used it. Stereotyping older workers as not being "tech-savvy" for example may be factually incorrect as well as being discriminatory.