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Older workers: The new ‘untapped source of labour’ for the UK

by on April 15, 2013

As reported in this article in The Telegraph, older workers should be seen as the new ‘untapped source of labour’ to fill an expected labour shortage in the coming years.

The Department for Work and Pensions predicts that there will be 13.5 million job vacancies over the next decade. However, only 7 million young people will leave school and college during that period and ministers are capping the number of immigrants allowed to enter the UK.

Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, is reported as saying that this will require a change in ageist attitudes. The Department has published a new Guide for employers on how to hire and retain older workers in order to build a ‘multi-generational workforce’ (Guide available to download via this link).

It’s interesting to see how some structural aspects of work/training have been – or are called on to be – changed. For example, there is no age limit on taking out a loan to pay student tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year. And the Guide suggests that employers should ‘consider offering apprenticeships and work experience opportunities to people of any age: younger and older.’

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