Two out of five workers in their 50s believe they face a lack of opportunity to progress in their job, a report has found.
A third did not know how to seek a promotion, and a fifth of the 1,000 employees polled said a lack of training was a barrier to their development.
It raises the prospect of years of untapped potential for older workers as their careers stagnate.
But 90 per cent of over-50s undertook training when they were offered it, showing that older workers are keen to learn new skills, said the report by jobs site Totaljobs and recruiters Robert Walters.
Alexandra Sydney, of Totaljobs, said the results showed a ‘significant proportion’ of the UK workforce felt overlooked.
‘As the number of older workers rises, employers need to ensure they cater to the needs of all employees across the generations,’ she said.
Chris Hickey, of Robert Walters, added: ‘It is not wise to switch off training and development opportunities for those reaching a certain age.’
Employment minister Alok Sharma said: ‘Experienced workers are a huge asset to the workforce.
‘Our Fuller Working Lives strategy is encouraging employers to recruit, re-train and retain older workers, recognising the massive contribution they make to our economy.’