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100 Year Life - Implications for Business


People are living longer - average human life across the world has increased in the past few decades. If that average continues to grow children in most advanced economies will have every chance of living well past their 100th Birthday.

Although there is growing awareness of increasing longevity, is business ready for the major implications of how to manage an ageing population who will inevitably be working longer. We are already more conscious of the need for lengthening working lives, retirement ages are being stretched.
If we look back 100 years, a present day centurion has seen two world wars, the advent of the automatic washing machine and vacuum cleaner and much much more – so how can we possibly forecast with the impact and increasing pace of technology. What will the landscape look like and what type of skills will be needed? Will it be more a question of what Artificial Intelligence and robotic automation can’t do?

According to Lynda Grattan and Andrew Scott in their excellent book called the ‘100 Year Life’, learning and education over a long life is crucial. This won’t simply mean extra years of education at an early stage, but also serious investment in later life as people learn new specialisms so as to adapt to the changing employment landscape and to mentally refresh and stimulate. There will need to be some serious innovation in education at all ages to meet the needs of businesses in the future and with ‘baby boomers’ retiring and not enough young people available to replace them, upskilling and valuing our ageing workforce to continue being productive and fulfilled is needed right now.
There is a huge deficit on the horizon.

If solutions within Brexit are not flexible enough, manufacturers, hospitality, NHS and many others will not be able to meet productivity demands. No doubt many of these roles will be replaced by robots in future, but the here and now is a worry – let’s hope the government is looking at the bigger current and future picture – it’s a massive challenge that needs some serious thought.
There will be a report on the 'future of jobs' and all its implications being released in October. I am part of the commission in London driving this initiative and will be revealing our findings at the Hewett Recruitment & HW Chamber HR Conference open to business leaders and HR professionals.

To book your place visit:

Louise Hewett

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