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Age ain’t nothing but a number: the inclusive employment remix

Category: Blogger's Corner

image of man. Age ain’t nothing but a number: the inclusive employment remix

There are no easy answers to fixing the skills gap in the UK employment market that we talked about last week. We need diverse and inclusive policies. We need opportunities for training. Part of that solution is supporting older workers.

That’s a simple matter of demographics. Older persons will need to form a larger part of the workforce as our society ages. Between December 2017 and February 2018, just under 1.2 million people over the age of 65 were in work. That’s 10.2% of the entire age group. If this figure grows in line with projections then that number will double by 2022.

Age-inclusive employment policies

We don’t actually need to cater to the needs of older workers. In fact, when it comes to employment, there are very few differences between the preferences of older and young persons. Research from the Centre for Ageing Better, an independent charitable foundation, says older workers look for employment that is personally meaningful and flexible. They look for opportunities that are intellectually stimulating, sociable and age-inclusive.

The data also showed that attitudes have become increasingly important. Older workers are more likely to stay in work if they feel like:

  • their work matters,
  • their employer supports them and takes their needs seriously.

This is a source close to our own heart. We believe in helping people access work that’s valuable. And responsive to the needs of the employee. All employees. In fact, we echo again the conclusions of the research. It’s important. There are very few differences between the preferences of older and young workers. Flexibility. Purpose. Opportunities.

Good employers for older persons

Employers that want to nurture and support an age-inclusive environment can:

  • Offer flexible working and autonomy in working. That will appeal to groups at both ends of the employment experience scale.
  • Consider working patterns that allow people time they need to look after those around them.
  • Think about how policies impact on the whole workforce. A rule for one should always be a rule for all.
  • Successful organisations celebrate diversity across all age groups. And offer mentoring opportunities where possible.
  • Have good line management and complaints structures should be well-understood and acceptable. Employers should not tolerate any form of bias based on age.

Age-inclusive employment policy shouldn’t be built to work for any one particular group. There has to be an age-diverse culture that values all age groups. Prejudice - whether against older, younger or any type of person - has to be removed.

Want to work in a proudly inclusive environment? Search vacancies with our socially-conscious employers here.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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Inclusive features

  • Disability Initiatives (Physical/Mobility)
  • Parenting Initiatives

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