Dr Ros Altmann CBE, the economist, pensions and investment expert, has just been appointed as the government's new Business Champion for Older Workers.
Altman, the former Director General of Saga, will be given the task of putting forward the case for older workers in the business community, and breaking down any outmoded perceptions bosses may have concerning older staff.
Her appointment was announced by the Department for Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb as part of a major drive by the government to push forward with support for those over 50 in the UK job market.
Dr Altmann commented: "I am really proud to be taking on this new role and look forward to championing over 50s in the workplace. This fast-growing section of society has so much experience and talent to offer and could play a vital role in future growth. Everyone can benefit from ensuring their skills do not go to waste. I also look forward to challenging some of the outdated and downright inaccurate perceptions of later life workers who still have so much to offer."
At the moment, there are 2.9 million people who are over 50 and under state pension age, who are unemployed in this country. Of this demographic, the percentage employed in the UK is 60 per cent, but the government notes other nations hit 70 per cent or more – so there is still potential for more to be done in terms of recruiting older staff members.
DWP Minister Steve Webb commented: "In appointing a Business Champion for Older Workers I wanted a powerful voice; someone respected amongst the business community, with a track record of speaking up for consumer rights without fear or favour. In Dr Ros Altmann that's exactly what we have."
"Older workers have a huge amount to bring to any workforce and are a vast, untapped talent in the UK labour market. The business case is compelling and I am delighted that Ros will now be taking a lead in going out and making that case directly to the business community."