Charles' charity urges bosses not to forget over-50s
PRIME report shows that age group conceals a “missing million” jobless people who want to go back to work, but are being ignored by employers
More must be done to get jobless over-50s back into work, according to research sponsored by HRH Prince Charles. Published by his charity the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME), today’s report The missing million: illuminating the employment challenges of the over 50s highlights the difficulties faced by older people who are currently on the shelf, in a climate of rising life expectancy and the State Pension age.
In partnership with Business In The Community and the International Longevity Centre (ILC), PRIME has embarked on a lengthy campaign to draw public attention to the problem. Indeed, today’s release will be followed by a further two reports on the issue, which PRIME hopes will alert bosses to a swathe of untapped potential and experience that exists in the relevant age group.
Among its various findings, the first report demonstrates that, out of the 3.3 million people between 50 and 64 who are presently “economically inactive”, approximately 1m have been made “involuntarily workless” – in other words, pushed out of their previous job as a result of “shocks”, defined as a combination of redundancy, ill health or early retirement. That has spawned a “silent majority” of over-50s who are not working, but would like to, and are not receiving the help they need.
In addition, the research shows that if people aged over 50 are helped back into employment, it does not mean that younger people are automatically “crowded out” of the labour market. Furthermore, helping older people back into work could spur a potential boost of £88 billion to UK GDP. Most importantly, securing employment for older people will transform their lives, offering them the opportunity of a brighter, more secure future.
ILC-UK chief executive Baroness Greengross said: “The case for working longer has never been stronger. Extending working lives is essential for delivering economic growth, maintaining a sustainable and vibrant business sector and harnessing the potential and capacity of the older worker.”