Aviva is ramping up its push to have a more grey-haired workforce by pledging to hire another 1,000 employees older than 50 by 2022.
The insurance giant is focusing its recruitment efforts on so-called Baby Boomers – those born during the post–World War II baby boom – as a rising number of adults hope to keep working well into their golden years.
The FTSE 100 company currently has around 16,000 UK employees, of which just under 3,000 or 18pc are aged over 50, but has set a target to have 4,000 older workers on its payroll within the next five years.
The target will mean 25pc of the insurer’s UK workforce will be aged over 50, a goal that comes a year after the chief executive of Aviva UK Andy Briggs became became the government’s business tsar for older workers and forecast a £25bn boost for the economy from hiring older people.
Large UK businesses including Co-op, Boots and Barclays then agreed to introduce a “silver quota” and publish age data after Mr Brigg’s called on firms to raise their number of staff aged over 50 by 12pc.
Talking about the new target, Mr Briggs reiterated that he wanted to set an example by exceeding the 12pc figure, adding that he also wants his workforce “to be reflective of both the communities we work in and of the customers we serve” as life expectancy in Britain rises.
The insurer is also set to roll out a new carer’s programme this week aimed at helping older workers looking after frail loved-ones stay in work by allowing them to take more time off or work flexibly, an issue Mr Brigg’s has previously flagged as a key reason older people end up leaving their jobs.
He told The Daily Telegraph earlier this year that there were misconceptions among employers that older people will be less resilient and take more sick days.
It’s the younger ones, he said at the time, who are going out and getting “absolutely hammered” while also being more likely to jump between jobs.
An Aviva survey of 3,327 UK adults aged over 50 found earlier this year that half of adults expect to keep working beyond the age of 65.
By the mid-2030s people aged over 50 will make up more than half of the UK adult population, according to government estimates, although the average age of leaving the labour market is still lower than it was in 1950.