Government appoints Business in the Community as Business Champion for Older Workers.

Championing the older worker: Government and industry to work together

Business in the Community's Leadership Team on age at work has been appointed as the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, to lead the work in supporting businesses to recruit, retain and retrain older workers.

Andy Briggs, CEO of Aviva UK and Ireland Life and Chair of Business in the Community’s Leadership Team on age at work, will take the lead alongside members of Business int the Community's  age at work Leadership Team, supported by Rachael Saunders, Age at Work Director at Business in the Community. 
As Business Champion, the Leadership Team is tasked with finding demonstrable solutions for businesses to retrain older workers and enable them to stay in work.

The employment rate for all working age adults remains at a record high of nearly 75%. But for people over 60, this falls to around 50%.  This role is an opportunity for government and business to collaborate in preventing people leaving work early.  The government believes that older workers should not fall out of the labour market unnecessarily early, but should be able to retrain and employers must not ignore older people in the recruiting process. This coincides exactly with the findings of Business in the Community’s “Missing Million” research series.

Under the remit of Business Champion for Older Workers, the Leadership Team will also help develop the support that the Government provides employers in the recruiting and retaining of the right people for their business.

Andy said: "I'm delighted to have been appointed as Business Champion for Older Workers, alongside a committed team of employers at Business in the Community, to bring government and industry together on what is an increasingly important issue.

"The business case and benefits of employing older workers are clear for both the employer and employees.

"Having a diverse and representative workforce can be a real advantage to any business and making organisations aware of the opportunities around retaining an ageing workforce can improve the overall contribution of older workers to economic growth and productivity, as well as making the best use of peoples' skills and experience.   As a team we look forward to working with businesses across the country to help them see those benefits and take simple steps to help their business and their employees."

Key workplace facts: 

  • Between 2005 and 2015 the number of people working over the age of 50 in the UK has increased by 2.5 million.
  • By 2022, the UK economy will need to fill 14.5 million job vacancies created by people leaving the workforce and by new positions being created.
  • It is estimated that there will only be seven million young people available to fill them – leaving a labour shortage of 7.7 million people.
  • Currently, one million older people who are not in work want to work – if just half of these were to move into employment GDP would increase by up to £88 billion a year