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Using experience of older workers can bring competitive advantage

Staff writer ▼ | June 24, 2015
Latest report from PwC compares employment of older workers across 34 OECD countries and found that employers may need to rethink their attitudes to training for older workers, so this does not "stop at 50".
Experienced worker
PwC   Older workers across 34 OECD countries
The newly-launched Golden Age Index is a weighted average of indicators – including employment, earnings and training - that reflect the labour market impact of workers aged over 55 in 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

The index suggests that governments could consider: further reforms of state pension systems to encourage later retirement; creating greater financial incentives for older workers to remain in, or re-enter, the labour force; introducing new training initiatives to improve the employability of older workers; remove barriers to continued employment and encourage recruitment of older workers; and specifically boost employment rates for older women, which tend to be lower than those for men.

Businesses making better use of the skills and experience of older workers can gain a competitive advantage at a time when the average age of customers is rising.

An ageing workforce may demand different approaches to reward in terms of the balance between salary, pensions and healthcare benefits.

Companies would benefit from doing a comprehensive audit of their age profile that covers recruitment, retention, training, reward and performance.

If UK employment rate for workers aged 55-69 was equal to best-performing EU country Sweden, the UK’s GDP would be boosted by around £100 billion. Iceland tops the table, followed by New Zealand, Sweden, Israel and Norway.

Chile is a high riser, but Greece and Turkey fall furthest in the rankings. US, Korea, Japan and Estonia make up remaining top 10 positions.