Ageing poses risk to Britain’s economy argue business leaders

A group of major national and international companies has signed an open letter and pledged to “work over the next five years to help make our ageing society and economy more sustainable.” 

The companies, such as EY and Royal London point out in the letter that:“without action, our ageing society poses a risk to the UK economy and our business. Government, industry and voluntary sector experts have come together at the first national Future of Ageing Conference today to debate the role of business in responding to the challenges of ageing.

More News

Aspiring chefs impress at Busy Bees Training’s cookery challenge 

Apprenticeships crucial to tackling youth unemployment, say policymakers and industry leaders 

Women’s start-up businesses more likely to fail

More than half of British workers favour employers that support volunteering

They​ will also highlight that demographic change means that we are “already witnessing shortages in critical parts of our economy.” While on the one hand, the business leaders recognise the potential of older consumers and highlight that too few people are saving enough to have a good retirement. 

Baroness Sally Greengross OBEILC-UK Chief Executive said: “Businesses must play a significant role in helping us adapt to our ageing society. They need to create jobs for all ages, help UK plc improve its productivity and help people to plan better for their retirement. Businesses who grasp the demographic opportunity will reap significant financial rewards. Older consumers have significant purchasing power and reaping this potential will offer economic returns. It is in all of our interests that more businesses engage with the challenges and opportunities of demographic change.”

They also point out that having a healthy workforce will be key to addressing the UK productivity, yet point out that more investment in healthy ageing needs to be made.The businesses signing the letter argue that “action by all of us over the next five years could make the UK a world leader.” 

They point out that “companies have a big part to play in tackling the challenges of demographic change. We can create jobs for all ages. We can help our workforce age well. And we can ensure our products and services are relevant for all.”

Fiona Dunsire, UK Market Leader at Mercer said: “Our Age Friendly Employer Research showed only a fraction of companies have implemented ‘age friendly’ policies to help them retain and attract older workers.  Tactics like age-specific wellness programmes, reviews of pay equity across comparable jobs across age bands, age discrimination checks, training targeted at older workers and line manager training are still only offered by a handful of employers. 

“Employers need to be doing more to develop corporate policies that allow their business to tap into this talent pool. We strongly advocate that companies investigate their workforce planning need to establish the extent of the impact of an ageing society on their businesses.”

This follows recent research from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half UK, which revealed that UK employers are anticipating a significant skills gap when baby boomers retire over the next two to five years and are already taking steps to mitigate the risk. It found that 74 per cent of finance directors were concerned that the skills gap resulting from widespread retirement of baby boomers will have a negative impact on their organisation over the next two years.  



Training Journal

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *