mature businessman illustrating companies employing older workers

Your career no longer comes to a standstill when you hit 50.

With the UK’s ageing population and rising retirement age, there’s a pool of older workers that represent untapped potential.

The government is encouraging businesses to look at the older end of the workforce as research shows that the ‘baby boomer’ generation is the fastest-growing demographic within the workforce.

With retraining in pre-retirement becoming the norm, you can set off on the next stage of your career with the help of an older workers recruitment agency.

Rising life expectancy means that retiring at 60 has become less viable than ever.

We’re rounding up some of the top companies employing older workers if you’re thinking of a second career with a new company.

Companies Employing Older Workers in the UK

1. Aviva

Aviva is one of the world’s most successful insurance companies. In 2017, Aviva announced that they were committing to hiring an additional 1,000 workers over 50. With this commitment, Aviva is set to have 25% of its workforce made up of employees over 50.

Although Aviva is committed to promoting diversity more broadly across their company, they’re still focusing on older employees. The company has even gone as far as to predict that 1 in 3 employees will fall within the over-50 demographic by 2025.

The benefit of a wide-ranging company like Aviva is that you’re almost guaranteed to find a department that works for your skillset. You’ll find vacancies available across their customer services, accountancy, marketing, and HR departments.

2. Boots

Boots is one of the leading high-street stores and is committed to having a diverse workforce, including older workers. The company has made a similar commitment to Avia to hire over 10% more workers over 50 by 2022. Boots states it “creates an open and inclusive working environment that enables our team to thrive”, including their older workforce.

If you’re thinking of retraining at 50, Boots offers a variety of positions in management roles, pharmacy positions, and administration roles at their head office. You can explore the latest vacancies at Boots, including in their opticians and supply chain departments here.

3. B&Q

Are you known for your love of DIY? B&Q is one of the top companies employing older workers and a nationwide chain that specialises in selling home improvement and gardening equipment. The company has a long history of employing those over 50. In 2011, almost 30% of its workforce was over 50.

B&Q launched its age diversity project in the 1990s and actively works with older workers recruitment agency staff. Along with their retail positions, B&Q also has job opportunities in their digital, HR, and financial departments.

4. National Express

National Express is the UK’s leading coach operator that works with local coach companies across hundreds of towns and cities. While apprenticeships schemes are typically for school leavers, National Express is an exception to the rule. Their latest apprenticeship scheme promotes retaining at 50 and targets older employees.

The diverse workforce at National Express also focuses on hiring those who are returning to the workforce after long-term unemployment or caring responsibilities. You don’t need to be a bus driver to work for National Express. The company’s employment opportunities include customer service roles and positions at its head office.

5. Atos

Atos, a French information technology and consultancy firm, was one of several companies to commit to hiring older workers. Their commitment came in the wake of research showing that the UK faced a job gap of an estimated 7.5 million positions by 2022 if they failed to support older workers.

Along with having a UK Disability Confident Leader certificate, Atos also describes itself as a ‘menopause friendly employer’. It was one of the first five employers to receive the Henpicked Menopause Friendly Employer Accreditation in the UK and the first IT company in the world to do so. Its diversity and inclusion make Atos one of the top companies employing older workers.

Atos offers its employees several benefits, including a share-based plan, flexible working hours, and performance-related pay. Their offices are located throughout the UK, with employment opportunities in engineering, consultancy, and project management.

6. Next

Retraining in later life is often a popular choice for those looking for flexible or part-time or low-stress work. If you have caring responsibilities or fall into this category, a company like Next could be your perfect solution. This popular retail store is an FTSE 100 company and one of the UK’s leading stores.

Along with its mentoring and returners incentives, Next offers flexible working hours, a pension scheme, and performance-based bonuses. With Next PLC, you can apply for positions in their warehouse and distribution department, along with their stores and head office. Next also offers customer service jobs through their call centre, along with temporary seasonal jobs that lead to a longer contract.

7. Sainsbury’s

Like most supermarket chains, Sainsbury’s is a popular choice for those considering a new challenge, as it promotes flexible working. As one of the UK’s most popular supermarkets, Sainsbury’s offers a variety of retail and office-based positions, along with seasonal roles. The company claims they’ve “built a 150-year-old business on bright ideas and bold decisions…doing it differently from day one”.

With Sainsbury’s, you can take advantage of benefits that include a colleague discount card, an annual bonus scheme, holiday entitlement, and awards for long service.

8. Starling Bank

Are you thinking of undertaking further training to specialise in tech? Starling Bank is a ‘fintech with a banking license’ that operates with the mentality of ‘no boundaries; one team’. As a digital challenger to traditional banks, Starling Bank has an open approach to working and promotes diversity across its departments.

At Starling Bank, you’ll find vacancies in banking, operations, customer service, and technology, with both full-time and part-time positions available.

Summary

These companies are only a taste of the dozens of emerging options for older workers in the UK. With the help of an older workers recruitment agency, finding work as an older adult has never been easier. And failing that, if continuing in a formal career isn't for you, giving back through volunteering might be the perfect option.


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