A report issued by EEF, the manufacturers' organisation finds that manufacturers in the United Kingdom are adopting an increasingly positive attitude towards employing older workers in order to address the challenges posed by continued skills shortages and an ageing population. According to the report--"An Ageing Workforce--How are manufacturers preparing?" (available to registered users)--manufacturers believe older workers are a valuable part of their workforce--more productive and less likely to be absent than younger workers--and that the more physical nature of manufacturing employment is not an impediment to the employment of older workers.
Sixty percent of the companies surveyed cited "loss of specialist skills" as a significant concern. EEF also reports that manufacturing companies are adopting pro-active approaches towards the use of flexible working and managing rehabilitation: rehabilitation and return to work policies are standard in 58% of companies, rising to over 80% of firms employing 250 people or more. In addition, flexible working hours are standard in nearly two fifths of companies with half of companies employing 100 or more people having flexible working in place.
Sources: EEF, the manufacturers' organisation Media Release (April 20, 2008); The Birmingham Post "Employers outline value of experience" (April 24, 2008)