A new government guide to employing older workers has been published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Britain will have 13.5 million jobs to fill over the next ten years, but only 7 million young people are projected to leave school and college over that time.
Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:
"Older people are the main untapped source of labour in this country. Britain is in a global economic race and we’re moving towards a landscape where there will be a set of jobs that employers cannot fill with anyone but experienced older workers. A firm that doesn’t make use of the talent pool on offer amongst the over fifties will be left behind."
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development research shows that those aged over-50 are the least likely to be recruited, although they are often some of the most skilled after a long work history.
The guide provides advice on employing older workers and retaining them, including extending apprenticeships to people of all ages.
Having raised the retirement age to 67, the government needs employers to provide more jobs to older people.
Those that have done so report positive experiences; McDonald's has reported its restaurants which employ workers over-60 have seen a 20 per cent higher performance.