Age at work campaign and Centre for Ageing Better joint commitment

Today (28th April 2016), Business in the Community (BITC) is calling on employers to recognise the benefits that older workers can bring to their workplaces.

It has launched a partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better to identify and test what works to recruit, retrain and retain older workers. Through this partnership, we want to hear from employers across the country who see the benefits of older workers and who are implementing changes to create age friendly workplaces.

People aged over 50 comprise over a third of the total workforce, and yet not everyone who wants to work is able to. 'The Missing Million' report by Business in the Community estimated that approximately one million people have been made 'involuntarily workless' - pushed out of their previous job through a combination of redundancy, ill health or early retirement.

Members of BITC's Age at Work campaign, which is made up of organisations who have committed to achieving change on age at work, will actively promote age friendly practices both within their organisations and more widely. They will test ideas generated through the partnership with Ageing Better so that their experience can be shared with employers across the country.

Many companies already recognise the benefits of older workers, retaining skills and talents, having a diverse multi-generational workforce and better understanding their customers (many of whom are of a similar age). Ageing Better and Business in the Community will seek to strengthen the business case so that more employers can see the benefits of an age friendly workforce, learn from what leading employers are doing and share the most effective policies and practices as widely as possible.

Rachael Saunders, Age at Work Director at Business in the Community, said:

"Our population is ageing, but employment isn't working for people over 50. Whilst some can choose to retire, too many people in this age group are pushed out of work, through redundancy, ill health, or because they need to balance work and care.

"Business in the Community's age at work campaign is here to help employers retain, retrain and recruit older workers, to tackle the dramatic drop off in labour market participation, and make the most of the talent and knowledge of our ageing population. We look forward to working with Ageing Better to test and develop new solutions to support older workers.

"This is a new agenda for responsible business, and our Leadership Team on age at work is committed to developing and testing pioneering solutions, whilst our Championing an Ageing Workforce Award finalists, Barclays, Steelite, and St Ledger Homes of Doncaster are taking a lead in recognising the business case for valuing older workers."

To share evidence on your workplace practices and find out how to make your organisation age friendly please contact danielle.wolman@bitc.org.uk