Older workers will be essential to fill employment deficit, warns CIPD

UK businesses will have to embrace the benefits of older workers in order to meet the “employment deficit” caused by a lack of young people coming into the labour market, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned.

According to the CIPD, UK employers will need to fill an estimated 13.5 million job vacancies in the next 10 years but only 7 million young people will leave education and enter the labour market during this period.

The CIPD said that employers will increasingly need to rely on older workers to fill this gap, with the Government Actuary’s Department predicting that, by 2020, 36% of the working population will be over 50 years old.

An additional factor is that employers are now unable to use the default retirement age to issue compulsory retirement notifications unless they can objectively justify it.

The CIPD has warned in its “Managing a healthy ageing workforce” guide that employers need to act now to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead of the ageing workforce.

Dianah Worman, diversity adviser at the CIPD, commented: “Organisations that respond appropriately to the challenges of an ageing workforce will gain a significant competitive edge, both in terms of recruiting and retaining talent, but also through supporting wellbeing and engagement for employees of all ages.

“The business case for older workers is strong and research shows their impact and experience within the organisation enables better customer service, enhanced knowledge retention and can help to address talent and skills shortages.”

Find information and guidance on dealing with retirement after the abolition of the default retirement age in our employer’s guide.

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