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It has been widely reported that in the UK we have an ageing population and a declining birth rate. Estimates are that between 2012 and 2022, 14.5 million jobs will open up, but only 7 million younger people will enter the workforce.
With the prospect of insufficient people to undertake some 7.5 million unfilled roles by 2022, Business in the Community has set a target for 1 million more older people in work by 2022. This would require every employer to increase the number of employees aged 50-69 by 12%.
People aged 45-49 have the highest employment rate of any age group at 84%, but the UK employment rate drops to 64% at age 60, according to the BITC report. There are 15 million people in the UK aged 59-69 but only 9 million are in work.
In a recent report Business in the Community asked employers to ‘Commit and Publish’ by collaborating with BITC to reach the target and publish the number and proportion of older workers in their organisations. Several large employers including Co-op, Barclays and Boots are reported to have agreed to a voluntary ‘silver quota’ of 12% of older workers before 2022.
This initiative is entirely voluntary, but many employers may see it as a means of demonstrating their commitment to diversity and equality in the workforce.