‘Woefully unprepared’ for demographic change, says new report

14 March 2013

The consequences of the rapidly ageing UK population are analysed in a report which concludes that ministers are ‘woefully unprepared’ for the impact of demographic change. Ready for Ageing? was published by the House of Lords Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change.

Alastair Thomson, Principal Advocacy Officer at NIACE, said:

“The main focus of this report is on areas such as health, social care and pensions. However, it is encouraging that the report also suggests Government might consider supporting initiatives to provide education and skills training for older people – not just for those who wish to work in later life, but also for those seeking guidance on how to keep up with a changing technological world.

“What the report does not consider is the extent to which the publicly-funded education and training system meets the learning needs of people as they age. There is overwhelming evidence of the positive impact learning has on older people.

Our most recent research, published last November, showed just how complex and important the benefits of learning are for older people. Learning, for older people, is not just about pursuing interests. It helps them to stay involved in society, to maintain their health, to manage caring roles and to cope with life crises.”