It is business leadership that will drive the real organisational and cultural change.

In a policy briefing note sent to all MPS and peers the Newcastle Institute for Ageing has called on government to take further action on older workers, and suggested how employers might drive change. 

Employers need to get better at having conversations with older workers about their career aspirations and ambitions

The Institute’s call for joined up health, social care and employment services, and improved training and career support for people of all ages, echo BITC’s Missing Million recommendations.

The Institute is also right to point out that employers need to get better at having conversations with older workers about their career aspirations and ambitions – the Mid Life Career review is one model for changing this, and our age at work leadership team are committed to finding new ways of opening up those conversations in their workplaces. 

I am somewhat more optimistic than the Institute about the future, and less convinced that the solution lies primarily with government. 

Now is the time for business to take responsibility for the shift in workplace practice and culture that we need to make the most of our ageing population.

Ros Altmann did an outstanding job as the Older Workers Business Champion, and is now a minister – we could not have a better advocate, and we can have absolute confidence she will continue to fight our corner in Whitehall and Westminster.  Now is the time for business to take responsibility for the shift in workplace practice and culture that we need to make the most of our ageing population.  

Andy Briggs, the CEO of Aviva UK and Ireland Life, is chairing BITC’s Age at Work leadership team, alongside senior leaders from a powerful range of businesses including the Co-Operative Group, Home Instead, Nationwide Building Society, the Royal Air Force and Walgreens Alliance Boots.

Government must create the right environment to support business and workers as we adapt to an ageing society where we will all work longer.   

It is business leadership that will drive the real organisational and cultural change that we know we need