The population is ageing: by 2030, half of all adults in the UK will be over 50 years old.
In parts of Cumbria the proportion will be higher still, around 56% in South Lakeland and 55% in Eden.
Inevitably, employers will become more dependent on older workers and that may require greater flexibility and a change of mindset.
The British Chambers of Commerce been working with the Department for Work and Pensions, Aviva UK and Business in the Community to produce materials that help businesses address skills gaps by recruiting, retaining and supporting older workers.
A toolkit looks at the policies and procedures employers can put in place.
Rob Johnston, Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is vital that employers recruit and retain older workers, given that the working-age population in Cumbria is shrinking.
“We have to encourage older workers to stay in employment for longer, rather than taking early retirement.
“That will require employers to tackle age bias and be more flexible, perhaps allowing older employees to work part-time if they want to and supporting them through later-life transitions such as caring for family members.
“Our toolkit explains how to go about this.”
He added: “There are business benefits to having an age-diverse workforce. Older workers have experience and maturity, which can be invaluable.
“And different generations have different ways of making sense of the world and therefore different ways of approaching problems and decisions. This diversity of thought can be leveraged for business success.”
Watch this clip of Rob talking about the Chamber’s campaign on Border TV’s Lookaround news bulletin:
And listen to our podcast on how to recruit, retrain and retain older workers.