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This study investigated beliefs about older workers' ability and inclination to develop career-relevant skills, concepts that have not been empirically examined previously in any depth. Two sets of distinct but conceptually related variables were examined in relation to these beliefs. First, participants' implicit theory of abilities (whether they are fixed or changeable) was investigated, and was not found to predict beliefs about older workers' ability or inclination to develop. Second, their beliefs about the age-related decline of learning-relevant abilities and the controllability of such decline were examined. Beliefs about the decline of such abilities significantly predicted beliefs about older workers' ability to develop and beliefs about their inclination to develop. A significant relationship was also found between beliefs about controllability of decline and beliefs about older workers' learning goal orientation. Implicit theories significantly predicted beliefs about controllability of decline. These results empirically link research on beliefs about age-related decline of abilities with the older worker stereotype literature. The results also link literature on beliefs about controllability of decline with literature on implicit theories of skill malleability.