Skill mismatch among older workers and workplace performance in Britain

David Wilkinson, Lucy Stokes, Andreas Cebulla, Nathan Hudson-Sharp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


One of the key responses to population ageing in the UK has been an increase in
the state pension age, which has created an expectation that older workers stay
in employment for longer. For employers, one important consideration when
retaining and recruiting older rather than younger workers is the relative
productivity of these workers. Whilst the empirical evidence on the relationship
between age and productivity is inconclusive, the evidence for the vulnerability
of older workers in the labour market is strong. Van Dalen et al. (2010) found
that both employers and employees rate the productivity of older workers
substantially lower than that of younger workers, but they have different
desirable attributes and skills. The perceived comparative advantage of older
workers lies in their organisational commitment, reliability and social skills,
whereas the perceived comparative advantage of younger workers relates to
their flexibility, physical and mental capacity and willingness to learn new
technological skills.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolicies for an Ageing Workforce
Subtitle of host publicationWork-life balance, working conditions and equal opportunities, Report of a CEPS – NIESR – FACTAGE and Eurofound conference
EditorsMikkel Barslund
Place of PublicationBrussels
PublisherCentre for European Policy Studies
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6138-753-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Population ageing
  • State pension age
  • Increase in state pension age
  • older workers
  • younger workers
  • older versus younger workers
  • relative productivity of older workers
  • vulnerability of older workers


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