Friday, March 20, 2009

United Kingdom: How Age Diversity Can Help Business during Downturn

Nicola Brewer, the Chief Executive of the United Kingdom's Equality and Human Rights Commission, said that employers who retain the skills and experience of older workers will be better placed to emerge from the recession. Speaking at a one-day conference organized by the Commission and the Age and Employment Network on "Age Diversity in the Downturn," she lso argued that the economic downturn should not be used as an excuse to justify redundancy on the grounds of age.
"We already have more people in the UK over state pension age than under 16, and, within 15 years, a third of the workforce will be over 50. Embracing the skills of older workers should be a top priority--unless we are prepared to miss out on a third of the available talent pool."
Her words were echoed by The Commission's Policy Director Alan Christie, Policy Director at the Commission, who said "We must stop stereotyping and worrying about how many candles a worker has on their next birthday cake, instead of looking at what they can offer. It's important to recognise that flexibility can help business weather the difficult times and prepare for the recovery, by attracting and retaining vital talent and skills, including older workers."

Source: Equality and Human Rights Commission News Release (March 20, 2009)

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