Unemployment amongst the over 50s is a critical concern: worklessness amongst older people remains high and this problem is likely to increase as we are living longer and the State Pension Age continues to rise.
Working with The International Longevity Centre, Business In The Community and The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) have embarked on a campaign to tackle this issue and have launched this, the first of three reports.
This research demonstrates that of the 3.3 million economically inactive people aged 50-64, approximately 1 million people have been made ‘involuntarily workless’ - pushed out of their previous job as a result of shocks such as a combination of redundancy, ill health or early retirement. This has created a situation where millions of over 50s are not working but would like to, and are not receiving the help they need.
The research also shows that if people aged over 50 are helped back into employment, it does not mean that younger people are crowded out of the labour market. Helping older people back into the labour market could also lead to a potential £88 billion boost to the UK's GDP. Most importantly, securing employment for older people will transform their lives and offer them the opportunity of a brighter, more secure future.
Successful, profitable businesses play a crucial role in transforming society to address both immediate and long term economic and social challenges. Having welcomed PRIME as their newest campaign, Business in the Community calls on its members to heed the findings of this report and ensure older people are at the heart of their business decisions.
Two further reports will be published following this paper, on employment solutions and benefits of maintaining an older workforce. For more information, contact Jessica Stone.