Skip to main content

A New Vision for Older People: Retain, Retrain, Recruit

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: The Business Champion's Report, The Working Group


A New Vision for Older People Retain, Retrain, Recruit Report Cover

Today as Business Champion for Older Workers, I have published my independent report to Government – ‘A New Vision for Older People: Retain, Retrain, Recruit’. The report calls for action to ensure all members of our society, of whatever age, receive the support they need. It sets out how business, Government, individuals themselves and the media can do more to support older workers and improve perceptions of the over 50s.

Background of the Report

We are all aware that as a country we are facing substantial demographic change. The figures are stark – by 2022, there will be 700,000 fewer people aged 16 to 49 in the UK workforce but 3.7 million more people aged between 50 and State Pension age.

Working life today is very different in many ways from how things used to be in the 1950s.  For example, the way women are treated has improved enormously with greater gender equality.

But while the drive for gender equality has made great progress, the same cannot be said for another area of workplace discrimination – the negative attitudes towards older workers.

I know from the vast amount of correspondence I have received that age discrimination at work remains a real problem for many. All too often, when it comes to your career, once you reach your fifties or sixties, you are considered “past it” – or less use. We need to permanently shift these attitudes in all parts of society.

The Future

My vision is for a future where every older person who wants to work, can work. In this future, flexible working and phased retirement are the accepted and indeed expected norm.

I want Government, employers and individuals to carefully consider my report and take action to help see the UK lead the world in redefining later life working. The right response will benefit us all.

Dr. Ros Altmann
Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Rachel Shelton posted on

    I sincerely hope you will succeed, for at the age of 54 with two degrees (one an MBA from Warwick Business School), two post-graduate diplomas, speaking three languages and with nearly 30 years' experience, I am expected by the Government to work until I am 67, yet I'm having immense difficulty in finding a permanent job and also therefore in actually surviving financially - it's only thanks to my 89 year-old mum that I've not been made homeless yet! My situation is utterly ludicrous - I want to work, yet time and time again I apply for jobs and don't even get the courtesy of a rejection letter/email. I've taken all the dates off my qualifications on my cv, and "lost" a few years' employment on there, too, to try and counter the ageism, though I suspect the fact that I'm female only amplifies the age aspect. I resent the fact that I am made to feel like a criminal by this Government when I periodically sign on between teaching assignments for the paltry sum of £70-odd, when I've paid in my taxes for nearly 30 years and WANT to work. All the "services" seem to be aimed at people with less educational attainment than myself, and when I asked for some low-procurement funding to update my skills in marketing to make myself more employable, I was refused, presumably because I've already got an MBA (which, incidentally, I self-funded). Sorry to rant, but there needs to be some joined-up thinking somewhere along the line. My valuable education, paid for by the state, along with my skills and experience, is going to waste. Rant over! Good luck in your endeavours!

  2. Comment by Chris M posted on

    I have 30 years experience as a legal advisor in property and probate work. I have managed IT and telecom systems for SME's and have over 10 years experience dealing with HR management. I also have a wealth of experience in social housing work with experience of risk management. I have most recently worked in compliance and regulations work and yet, because I am now 60 years old (and I have a mild physical handicap), I can't even get an interview. I am reliable, honest and desperate to work - as much as anything to pass on the skills and experience to a younger generation, but I seem to be written off. What a criminal waste it is of the experience I have to offer. I would love to work with new businesses. I can afford to work at a much lower rate of reward than I used to, but there are very few channels I can find where businesses and skills can be easily matched up. Recruitment companies often get in the way of access to employers it seems to me. So frustrating.


Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.