Older workers key to staving off ‘workplace cliff’

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Older workers are the key to stopping the UK falling off a “workplace cliff” – caused by a lack of active labour market participants – according to Penna CEO Gary Browning.

In the next 10 years there will be 70,000 fewer people aged 16-49, but 3.7 million more people aged 50 to state pension age (66) in the UK. Browning told HR magazine that businesses need to “utilise and embrace” older workers in order to avoid the pool of potential labour drying up.

Browning added that revenues mentoring, where younger people mentor older colleagues, could also help multi-generational workforces thrive.

He said: “Traditionally mentoring and coaching were seen as a one-way process where someone with more experience would mentor a younger person. There is a real opportunity to go both ways. Different generations have different strengths, and it’s about respecting those different skillsets and using them in a productive way.”

He added using mentoring and coaching can help to address stereotypes and unconscious bias, which can lead to the discrimination of older workers.

“The companies that will [succeed] are those who embrace the multi-generational workforce and create environments where everyone feels they have a valuable part to play,” he said.

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