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#OneMillionMore: Campaign to encourage employers to hire #OlderWorkers

by on February 7, 2017

We’ve covered earlier parts of the campaign to get more older people into employment, in particular the Missing Million reports published in 2015 by Prime, in conjunction with Business in the Community (BITC) and the International Longevity Centre.

Last September the Government appointed Andy Briggs, CEO of Aviva UK Life, as Business Champion for Older Workers. The role is to support how organizations respond to population ageing, namely through improved retention, re-training and recruiting of older workers. As reported here in The Telegraph, the policy will be to ask organizations to employ an extra one million older staff by 2022.  This means every firm will need to increase the number of staff aged between 50 and 69 that they employ over the next five years by 12%.

The background to this call is well rehearsed:

  • increased longevity;
  • the increase in State Pension age;
  • a growing skills gap whereby there will be almost double the number of new jobs in the UK then there will be new younger workers over the next 5 years;
  • age discrimination and bias by employers;
  • Government policy to encourage people to extend their careers and defer retirement (e.g the Department for Work and Pensions’ recent launch of its ‘Fuller Working Lives’ strategy.

I was interested to see some of the case studies on the BITC website. These include profiles of three older workers who have taken up encore careers as carers. I recall a Government minister some time ago suggesting this was a suitable occupation for older people (he implied as volunteers) so I made a point of checking with Home Instead that the caregiver role featured in the case studies is a paid role. They confirmed that it is. Though they couldn’t tell me the rates of pay.

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