Many organisations are confronted with an ageing workforce. Older employees are often seen as less flexible and open to HRD activities than their younger colleagues, yet rapid developments taking place within society and organisations require a flexible and responsive workforce. The necessary knowledge and skills demanded here can be taught through HRD activities. In 1995 a quantitative exploratory survey into the conditions considered important for the career development or mobility of older workers was carried out within a Dutch multinational chemical company. From a training and development viewpoint, these conditions are defined as demands made on corporate HRD policy, HRD activities and employees’ willingness to learn, as well as stimulating factors that promote the career development of older workers. Results show that while the company operated an age-awareness personnel policy, this still focused on younger employees so that participants in the career development process were insufficiently stimulated in their roles and traditional formal HRD activities had little effect on older workers’ careers. This article describes the survey, highlighting its major results, and offers recommendations.