'More jobs needed for older workers'

'More jobs needed for older workers'

Employment minister Damian Hinds has called on businesses across the UK to create more opportunities for older workers.

New figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions shows that there are now more people aged 50 to 74 in work than ever before, 3.7 million more than there were 20 years ago.

The figures also show the unemployment rate for people aged over 50 has dropped to 3.3%, the lowest level since 2009 - meaning there are now over 1.1 million people working beyond the age of 65.

Despite this, employment minister Damian Hinds is calling on businesses to create even more opportunities for older people after the government abolished the default retirement age - extending the right to request flexible working to all employees.

"It is clear that people over 50 aren’t slowing down or getting ready for retirement," said Hinds. "I want to see businesses supporting this momentum while also reaping the benefits of the skills and expertise these older people can bring to the workplace.

"People in later life are increasingly looking to stay in work and it is important that more businesses look for ways to support them."

Many businesses already recognise the value of older workers. A great example of this is Barclays’ ‘Bolder Apprentices’ scheme which creates opportunities for people wanting to start a new career in later life.

Other firms, such as hospitality firm Whitbread, are also actively seeking the skills and knowledge of older workers.