"The report warns that unless there is a significant shift in the position, serious long-term damage could be caused to the economy and living standards of a large part of the population.
"Matthew Tinsley, author of the report, said: 'It is not surprising that there has been less of a focus on older workers. Youth unemployment topped the million mark recently and on the face of it older workers have fared relatively well over the past few decades.
"'However, there are now over 8 million people aged 50 or over in the UK workforce. The skills and experience that older workers offer employers is vitally important to businesses and the economy as a whole.
"'Greater levels of support must be put in place to help unemployed older workers back into the labour market, and to support individuals' opportunities later in life.'"