Scotland’s population – and workforce – is ageing. By 2045, the number of people aged 65 and over is projected to grow by nearly 30%. This report will help employers improve their understanding of older workers (who we generally define as those aged 50+), their experiences, preferences and considerations, enabling them to create better jobs and more fulfilling working lives. Where sample sizes allow, we include Scottish graphs and trends, but there is very little variance in the patterns found between Scottish and UK-wide data.

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Understanding older workers in Scotland

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The report makes recommendations for employers and policy-makers on recruiting and retaining older workers, including:

  • Enhancing flexible working offering
    Increasing the availability and range of flexibility in a job role is even more valued by older workers, and employers should take steps to boost the provision and uptake of flexible working in their organisations. This CIPD has been calling for the right to request flexible working to be a day one right, together with other tweaks to the legislation, via our Flex From 1st campaign.
  • Early and ongoing support for health and wellbeing
    Supporting the health of workers throughout their working lives maximises their chances of leading a healthy and active life as they get older. The importance of this is shown by the fact that over half of workers have a long-term health condition by age 60. Providing timely access to occupational health services to workers in their 20s and 30s with back pain or other musculoskeletal problems, can reduce the likelihood of these conditions becoming chronic. 
  • Improving skills and training
    Ongoing training or career progression opportunities should be provided for older workers. The CIPD is calling for the introduction of enhanced and buildable individual learning accounts (ILAs). These would be designed around the principles outlined in the CIPD’s Skills to Grow report and should primarily be targeted at adult upskilling. 

Employers can also read our report Understanding older workers which focuses on older workers in the UK as a whole.

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