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Government Appoints Champion for Older Workers

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The UK Government has recently taken steps to support people in the later stages of their careers by appointing a new Business Champion for Older Workers.

Dr Ros Altmann – a former director-general of Saga and independent expert on later life issues – will be tasked with making the case for older workers within the business community and challenging outdated perceptions.

According to Government figures, there are currently around 2.9 million people aged between 50 and state pension age out of work in the UK. While the UK employment rate for this age group is around 60% and growing, many other countries achieve rates of around 70% or higher – so there is clearly significant potential for more older people to participate in the labour market for longer, says the Government.

Demographic changes present major opportunities for employers to harness the benefits of taking on older staff, but also pose a serious threat to businesses that continue to believe they can rely solely on a young workforce, the Government has warned. In the next ten years, there will be 700,000 fewer people aged 16 to 49 in the UK labour market but 3.7 million more people aged between 50 and state pension age.

“I am really proud to be taking on this new role and look forward to championing over 50s in the workplace,” commented Dr Altmann. “This fast-growing section of society has so much experience and talent to offer and could play a vital role in future growth. Everyone can benefit from ensuring their skills do not go to waste.”

“I also look forward to challenging some of the outdated and downright inaccurate perceptions of later life workers who still have so much to offer,” she added.

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