Government to appoint ‘older workers tsar’ tasked with keeping workers over 50 in their jobs
Keeping people over 50 in work will be the task of the new “older workers tsar”, appointed by the Government.
The Evening Standard reports that while 75 per cent of working age adults are in employment, this figure drops to 70 per cent for those in their fifties and sixties.
Addressing Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green, said he wants businesses to stop ignoring older people when they are recruiting and has hired chief executive of Britain’s biggest insurance firm Ariva UK Life, Andy Briggs, to take on the challenge.
Mr Green said: “This generation of over 50s can combine the wisdom of experience with the fitness of youth. “Our first business champion will work with businesses, of all shapes and sizes, to find the best ways of retraining older workers and enabling them to stay in work for longer.” The employment rate for people aged 50 to 64 has grown from 55.4 to 69.6 per cent over the past 30 years and around 10m UK workers are aged 50 and over – an estimated third of the entire workforce.
Mr Briggs, 50, has been given the title Business Champion for Older Workers and will work with organisation Business in the Community to encourage other chief executives to retain and recruit older staff. He believes this approach has helped Aviva’s growth and productivity. The Secretary of state also used his confernece speech to highlight his plan to put “rocket boosters” under the Government’s New Enterprise Allowance by extending help for people starting new businesses and his plan to release a Green Paper focusing on opportunities for disabled people. He praised previous Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith – who quit David Cameron’s Government in protest over disability spending cuts – for “pouring his heart” into welfare during his six years in post.
(Article source: The Evening Standard)