A study by qualifications body City & Guilds has predicted that over the next two decades the number of people aged 60 and over in the UK workforce will double.
Based on Labour Force Survey statistics combined with the Government and Pension Commission's warnings on who will be affected by the pensions crisis, City & Guilds predicted that by 2020, 22% will be working well into their sixties - more than double the present number.
IT specialists are concerned about the ageing population. Eighty per cent said employers are ageist when hiring IT staff, and 36% expect to have to postpone their retirement.
Despite many employers valuing the experience and knowledge of their "silver staffers" and recognising a skills shortage among younger people, City & Guilds said employers can do more to allay the fears of older workers. It wants more employers to invest in training and development and encourage the transfer of skills and experience by introducing mentor or trainer roles for more mature staff.
Chris Humphries, director-general at City & Guilds, said, "Employers are realising the benefits of an older workforce, but there is a lot more that can be done to support older workers and to make the most of their skills and experience. Introducing flexible working and mentor roles for older people can benefit businesses and staff.
"Employees can help themselves stay employable by future-proofing their skills and realising that one is never too old to seek career advice."