Skip to accessibility page
Close window
Display options

Set the appearance of this website so you can read it more easily

Text size



Waltham Forest – 50+ in the Age of No Retirement

10 July 2014

Age UK Waltham Forest logo

The biggest opportunity of an ageing society (both for individuals and Society)

Older people have a wealth of skills and experience that are not only beneficial to the economy but will help teach the next generation of workers. If 400,000 unemployed over 50s have on average around 25 years of experience each, we are missing out on 10 million years of experience. 


There is also the economic argument: according to the Cabinet Office the drop in work rates among the over 50s since 1979 is costing the economy around £16 billion a year in lost GDP and costs the public purse between £3 billion and 5 billion in extra benefits and lost taxes. 


Alastair Clegg:  Chief Executive Officer at The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME).


An event was held on Friday 4th July 2014 at the Chingford Assembly Hall, Chingford E4 7EN,that was opened by Iain Duncan Smith – Secretary of State for Work and Pensions MP Chingford & Woodford Green to highlight the wealth of experience, skills and knowledge of the 50+ and how we might support and help them seek and gain work in Waltham forest.


The presentation given by the speakers are available here for those who could not attend the event: 


  • Dr Jonathan Collie, Founder, Trading Times talked about 50+ in the Age of No Retirement?
  • Lis Robinson, Head of Fuller Working Lives DWP, Ageing Society and State Pensions who spoke to the recently published Fuller Working Lives – A Framework for Action. The Framework provides a structure within which key players can bring about the changes we need to ensure adequate income in retirement for individuals, better wellbeing in later life, a more productive labour market, and increased economic activity.
  • John Mulroy, Customer Service Operations Manager, Walthamstow Jobcentre Plus who presented on Supporting 50+ The Local Picture
  • Clem Smith, Divisional Director of Business, Employment & Skills, Environment and Regeneration, London Borough of Waltham Forest who presented on What Waltham Forest is doing to aid employment of those who are 50+



  • A third of the current population is over 50.
  • There are now more people in the UK aged 60 and above than there are under 18. 
  • Life expectancy in the UK has reached its highest level on record for both males and females, 78.1 years at birth for males and 82.1 years at birth for females.
  • In 2008, UK men at age 65 had a healthy life expectancy of 9.9 years, and women of 11.5 years 
  • There is no Longer a statutory retirement age
  • The State pension age is increasing
  • People in mid life may have 20 years or more of working life before them


Policy background 

New Framework for Extended working Life - DWP


Employers: do they want to recruit?


  • 55% of micro-businesses (under 10 employees) looking to increase staffing levels
  • 1 in 2 find it difficult to recruit the ‘right staff’
  • Candidates lack confidence, basic interpersonal skills and common sense
  • Younger people lack numeracy and literacy skills, research skills and ability to focus
  • The Workforce Survey, British Chambers of Commerce, 2011
  • Employers: are older workers ‘right’?


What employers like about older workers (Source: CROW and others)


  • Reliability, loyalty, motivation
  • Dedication, punctuality, flexibility
  • Skills, knowledge, experience
  • Attention to detail
  • Maturity, confidence
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Empathy, customer relations
  • Mentoring, knowledge transfer