Businesses told to plan for an ageing workforce

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UK employers will need to fill 13.5m job vacancies in next decade.

Managing a healthy ageing workforce is an issue that businesses will have to pay increasing attention due to changing demographic trends, a new report has claimed.

A year-long study carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests the current economic downturn is “camouflaging” the fact that the UK faces a severe skills shortage in the coming decades, and businesses must look after their ageing workforce to fill it.

The report estimates that UK employers will need to fill 13.5 million job vacancies in the next 10 years, but there will be only seven million school and college leavers in this period.

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It notes that as immigration won’t fill the gap, employers must look at how they can keep their existing workers for longer, which it insists is “feasible” as more than half of workers aged over 54 plan on working beyond state retirement age.

By 2020 36% of the working population will be over 50 and this, according to the study, means employers will need to pay greater attention to the wellbeing of an ageing workforce and ensure the office or factory environment is ergonomic enough to ensure workers can continue performing tasks comfortably into their 60s.

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