UK employers need to prepare for a maturing workforce as financial anxieties and increasing longevity force people to work longer, researchers have said.
A study by qualifications body City & Guilds predicts that over the next two decades, the number of people aged 60 and over in the UK workforce will double.
Based on Labour Force Survey statistics combined with the Government and Pension Commission's warnings on who will be affected by the pensions crisis, City & Guilds predicted that by 2020, 22% of the population will be working well into their sixties – more than double the present number.
Despite many employers valuing the experience and knowledge of their "silver staffers" and recognising a skills shortage among younger people, City & Guilds said employers can do more to allay the fears of older workers.
It wants more employers to invest in training and development and to encourage the transfer of skills and experience by introducing mentor or trainer roles for more mature staff.
Chris Humphries, director-general at City & Guilds, said: "Employers are realising the benefits of an older workforce, but there is a lot more that can be done to support older workers and make the most of their skills and experience. Introducing flexible working and mentor roles for older people can benefit businesses and staff.
"Employees can help themselves to stay employable by future-proofing their skills and realising that one is never too old to seek career advice."