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Fiftysomethings are not shy and retiring types

Life begins at 50, it would seem, after figures from Age UK and The Age Employment Network uncovered a boom in apprenticeships in one's golden years.

From 2007 apprenticeships for the 50-plus group almost doubled to over 5,000. DIY store B&Q has long been known as an employer willing to accept the maturity and life experience of the older worker, and it has taken on hundreds of older people for apprenticeships.

Age UK wants the government to continue to encourage 'silver' apprenticeships, despite imminent spending cuts.

Sara Osborne of Age UK said the growth so far was a good reflection of the older generation. "It shows their commitment to working longer."

Pipe, slippers and spending time in the garden isn't everyone's cup of tea - and it's heartening that some businesses are offering retirees the choice.

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