Scotland finds itself standing at the precipice of a demographic timebomb. According to forecasts by the Registrar of Scotland, in the years up to 2037, our elderly population will grow at a rate up to 25 times faster than those of working age. This phenomenon will undoubtedly have a major impact on our society and our workplaces, placing firmly under the microscope the issues of migration, of lifelong learning, and of cross-generational working and workplaces. Simply having more people working for longer past previous retirement ages won’t solve the problem, as many older skilled workers are already taking the opportunity to leave the workplace, taking their valuable skills and experience with them.
Scotland, therefore, needs answers to some very important questions. How do we get our young people into the workplace ready and able to replace this exodus? How do we take advantage of Scotland’s approach to migration to build our workforces? How do we deal with the techno-fatalism which says it’s all going to be done by robots? And how do we structure our workforces to address the reality that is an ageing population?
Hannah Bardell MP - Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Business, Innovation and Skills)