Businesses that don’t retain and recruit older workers could face a labour and skills shortage, a new report warns.
Independent charity the Centre for Ageing Better said businesses could face such shortages as experienced staff leave and there are too few younger candidates to replace them.
The charity published the Becoming an age-friendly employer report, which finds a number of older employees feel they are being discriminated against at work because of their age.
The report is based on results from a YouGov poll of more than 1,100 employees, over the age of 50, which found nearly 10 percent of respondents believe they have been turned down for jobs because of their age. A further 32 percent feel they are being offered fewer opportunities for training and progression because of their age.
The survey also found that 40 percent of employees think their workplace has a policy related to preventing age discrimination, but nearly nearly half of these people (47 percent) say it has made no difference.
The report, published in partnership with Business in the Community, sets out practical steps for employers to create a more supportive, age-positive culture and boost the candidate pool of older workers.
The Centre for Ageing Better is urging employers to adopt five steps to an age-friendly workplace to ensure they are ready for the ageing workforce:
• Offer more flexibility, manage it well and help people know their options;
• Actively target candidates of all ages, and minimise age bias in recruitment processes;
• Enable early and open conversations, and early and sustained access to support for workers with health conditions;
• Provide opportunities for people to develop their careers and plan for the future at mid-life and beyond;
• Equip HR professionals and managers to promote an age-positive culture, and support interaction and networking among staff of all ages.