Tuesday, May 22, 2018

United Kingdom: Prime Minister Includes Aging Workforce among "Grand Challenges" Facing UK

In a speech on science and modern industrial strategy at Jodrell Bank, Prime Minister May spoke about the aging workforce as one of the "grand challenges" facing the United Kingdom, each leading to a mission outlined as part of the government's "Industrial Strategy." As May said, "We know that our society here in the UK, and in other developed countries around the world, is getting older – creating new demands and opportunities," and "through our healthy ageing grand challenge, we will ensure that people can enjoy five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, whilst narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest."

Specifically, with respect to employment, May said: "Employers can help, by meeting the needs of people who have caring responsibilities and by doing more to support older people to contribute in the workplace--and enjoy the emotional and physical benefits of having a job if they want one." However, the policy paper issued at the same time as her speech provides no additional details of how the :mission will help support people to remain at work for longer."

In an article on her speech, Miriam Kenner reports:
Anna Dixon, chief executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, welcomed May’s “commitment to increasing people’s quality of life in older age”, and reducing the “scandalous gap in healthy life expectancy between the richest and poorest in our society”.

"As we live longer, we also need to work for longer,” she added. “All employers need to adopt age-inclusive practices.

“Too many older workers are leaving the labour market prematurely at great cost to them personally, as well as the state.”

Source: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development "Prime minister calls on employers to do more to support ageing workforce" (May 21, 2018)

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