Rachael Saunders Age at Work Director, Business in the Community, applauds companies who are supporting the Business in the Community call to action to employ one million more older workers by 2022.
Transparency as a driver for better corporate governance is regularly in the news. Today, eight leading organisations are blazing a trail, publishing their data on older workers for the first time, to contribute to the debate and inspire others to take action.
Atos, Aviva, Barclays, The Co-operative Group, Home Instead Senior Care, Mercer, Boots UK and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) are the first employers to commit to our 2022 target and to publish age data. The 2022 target has been set out in our capacity as Government Business Champion for Older Workers, held by Business in the Community’s Age at Work Leadership team.
Each of these employers has shared the total number of employees aged 50-64 and aged 65-69, as well as total number of employees, and there are some fascinating nuances in the data that is published today.
Home Instead Senior Care has a particularly high proportion of older workers, because the relationships between Care Givers and clients are so vital to the business. It is an organisation that particularly values the skills and experience that older people bring.
For the Co-Operative Group the age range working for the organisation is very mixed, and the reasons to value older workers are similar – older workers can offer great customer service because of experience and knowledge they have built up, and because they have roots in local communities that customers value.
For Atos, their workforce is a relatively older one and their priority is to motivate and engage people across age groups – many of whom will have had varied careers before working for Atos.
Our other companies publishing today – Aviva, Barclays, Mercer and the FSCS – have something in common as financial and professional services organisations, and their data is aligned as well. Aviva and Barclays are major companies and it is likely that the age profile of different business units will vary. Each has taken action – Barclays has a great Bolder apprenticeship scheme which provides a second chance for older people to develop a career in banking. Aviva is working to increase the number of older people in contact centres, as well as making the most of older talent across the company. Mercer has a powerful focus on supporting individuals who are caring for family members.
These companies should be applauded as the first to publish their age at work data. Much of the differences in their workforce profiles can be explained by the differences between sectors, and the variance in the demographics of the talent pools organisations are drawing from.
We are at the beginning of this journey. The next stage is supporting each of these companies, and the many more that will commit to taking action on age at work, to meet our target – of at least 12% more older workers in their employment by 2022.