Are businesses beginning to notice the value of older employees?

The answer appears to be, “A bit and more than they used to, but not as quickly as older workers and campaigners would like.”

The Financial Times reported recently on a number of organisations, including Barclays Bank and National Express, who have either begun apprenticeship schemes specifically for older workers or are already known for their positive approach to older workers, including B&Q, JD Wetherspoon, Lloyds and McDonald’s.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development says that “The business case for older workers is strong and research shows their impact and experience within the organisation enables better customer service, enhanced knowledge retention and can help to address talent and skills shortages.

“However, despite this, our research found that more than three quarters (76%) of older workers reported that their employers had not made any reasonable adjustments to help them carry on working.”

With many people choosing to remain in the workforce for many years beyond what used to be expected for workers over the age of 60, much still needs to be done to create a truly responsive, supportive and flexible work environment across industries and sectors.

The wealth, and importance, of knowledge and experience that older workers could provide employers as well as fellow colleagues cannot be overstated.

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