Over-50s employment rate at record high

The number of people aged between 50 and 64 in employment has reached a record high of 8.2 million, according to figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The employment rate for people in this age group rose by 50,000 in the second quarter of 2015, meaning that there are 235,000 more older workers in employment when compared to last year.

The government has launched a range of initiatives aimed at making sure people are able to use their skills in a workplace setting. Britain has an ageing population with official estimates predicting that there will be 3.7 more people aged 50-64 by 2022 but 70,000 fewer people aged 16-49. 

Measures that the government has taken to try and ensure older workers can stay in work are:

  • abolishing the default retirement age so that older staff can no longer lose their jobs when they reach retirement age
  • extending the right to request flexible working 
  • back-to-work, pilot work experience and training schemes 
  • increasing digital support to help job claimants with modern job finding techniques.

Pensions minister, Baroness Altmann, said:

"Record numbers of people are bringing their skills, talents and experience into the UK workplace, which is good news for people's incomes, their future pensions and the overall economy.

"But with 735,000 vacancies in the economy today, businesses are still not making the most of opportunities that this huge pool of talent has to offer."

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