The U.K. is facing a "recruitment black hole" and is making long-term economic challenges worse by not finding jobs for older workers, according to a new study.
More effort should be directed at keeping older people in work for longer, the campaign group Business in the Community argued in a report published Wednesday. Over one million over-50s—dubbed the "Missing Million" by Business in the Community—are currently looking for employment but have been edged out of the workplace.
Like much of Europe, the U.K. is facing a demographic challenge as its population ages. The number of people over 65 years old set to almost double from 10 million to around 19 million by 2050, according to projections by the U.K. government.
British citizens currently start getting their state pension aged 65-years-old. This is set to rise to 67 in April 2028 and may rise still higher as the population ages further.
Recent changes to U.K. pension rules, making it easier for savers to raid their pension pots, have led to concerns that older people could splurge all of their savings in one go, and potentially become less financially stable in the long term. Working for longer is likely to mean less reliance on that public pension.
"It is dangerous for our economic sustainability to assume that young people alone make up the future workforce," Rachel Saunders, director of Business in the Community's "Age at Work" campaign, said in a statement.
"If we don't act now to encourage and enable people to stay in work for longer, we will face a deficit of experienced, skilled and productive workers when we need them most."