Providing for Tomorrow Today: Understanding an Ageing Workforce
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Providing for Tomorrow Today: Understanding an Ageing Workforce

Osborne Clarke

By better understanding an ageing workforce, businesses can design and build stronger cross-generational workforces for the future. We encourage employers to consider how they look at it not as a problem but as a great opportunity – for everyone.

We talk a lot about Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Generation Z (born 1997-2012) – how to attract them, how to retain them, how to keep them happy and engaged in work. The chat, however, is quieter when it comes to the other end of the working age spectrum – the Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and Generation X (born 1965-1980).

This is starting to change for the simple reason that the UK workforce is ageing. A third of all workers are now aged over 50. The majority of these workers are out of work by the time they hit State Pension Age. For some, the decision to leave work is a positive choice but, for others, falling out of the labour market is driven by a rigid job market and employers not being ‘age-friendly’. This is clearly going to create people challenges. How do businesses fill the talent gap that is left between the number of Baby Boomers retiring and the number of younger workers coming through with the right skills to replace them?

Increasingly, employers are alive to an alternative solution – strengthening the bonds with their over-55 workers so they (and their valuable skills, knowledge and experience) stay in the business for longer.