How to use focus groups to retain and recruit older workers

This guide outlines how to conduct focus groups and provides a discussion guide for groups that you may convene. The aim of these focus groups is to learn how to attract and retain older people.

As the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, we are calling for one million more older people in work by 2022. Our population is ageing and people are living longer. By 2022, 14.5 million more jobs will be created but only 7 million younger workers will enter the workforce. To ensure the health of our economy and society, the UK needs to significantly improve older workers’ participation in the labour market.

But employment in its current state is not working for many people over 50; some choose to retire early, but many others are forced out through redundancy, health issues or a need to balance caring responsibilities.

Listening to older employees through focus groups will help you retain and recruit older workers. You can capture attitudes, feelings, beliefs, experiences and reactions in a way which would not be feasible using other methods such as interviews or surveys.

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What is the target of one million more older people in work by 2022 and where did it come from?
In September 2016, the Government appointed the Business in the Community Age at Work Leadership Team, led by Andy Briggs, CEO of Aviva UK Life, as Business Champion for Older Workers. The role is an opportunity to support employers adapt to the needs of our ageing population through better retention, retraining and recruiting of older workers.
In February 2017, the group announced a strategy of activity and a target of one million more older people in employment by 2022.  This equates to a 12% increase in older workers for each UK employer. 

Learn more about the Business Champion for Older Workers: Strategy and 2022 Target >>