Jo Geraghty


Never too old to learn

Date added: 21st Feb 2013
Category: Employee Engagement

A new report from the Department of Work and Pensions* has revealed the increasing reliance which the country will place on older workers in years to come.  Over the next ten years it is expected that we will require fresh workers to fill 13.5m job vacancies. With only 7m school leavers and a commitment to reduce immigration, the deficit will need to be taken up through the retention of older workers.  The report also runs through some of the steps which organisations will need to take when employing more mature workers.

In tandem with the report, the Government is seeking ways of encouraging older workers to involve themselves in lifelong learning.  They have scrapped the age limit on student loans to cover tuition fees and the national skills strategy is to be extended to cover “all ages”.

Businesses employing a multi-generational workforce need to ensure that their organisational culture embraces the benefits each generation can bring and that their employee engagement processes flex to meet the approach required by successive generations.  This may require some attention to process and approach but, as the report shows, those organisations which successfully integrate older workers can benefit from:

  • a broader range of skills and experience;
  • opportunities for mentoring new recruits;
  • transfer of skills across the workforce;
  • reduced staff turnover; and
  • improved staff morale.


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