Skip to main content

Age

As more people choose or are compelled to work beyond what was once a statutory retirement age, there is growing interest in their guidance needs and entitlements. This section contains a range of resources dealing with issues related to age and employment. From October 2006, legislation has made it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of age. The implications of age in relation to career guidance practice can be seen, as with other aspects of equal opportunities, through the lens of multicultural counselling, which regards 'age' as one aspect of 'culture', broadly defined as an aspect of disadvantage. You may also wish to use the LMI Future Trends section of this website, which is organised under various sectors. Each includes a section dedicated to equal opportunities issues, and where available this incorporates data on age distribution in the sector.

Links to resources on issues related to age and employment

Bimrose, J. & Brown, A. (2010). Older workers’ transitions in work-related learning, careers and identities (pre-publication version; published version available through following link). In K. Ecclestone, G. Biesta & M. Hughes (eds) Transitions and Learning Through the Lifecourse , Routledge: Abingdon.

Brown, A. & Bimrose, J. (2011) Changing patterns of guidance, learning and careers of older workers in Europe (pre-publication version; published version available in CEDEFOP publication). In CEDEFOP (ed) Working and ageing: Guidance and counselling for mature learners , Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. The CEDEFOP publication highlights the importance and potential of guidance and counselling in supporting longer and more satisfying careers in ageing societies in Europe.

Cedefop (2010) Working and ageing - Emerging theories and empirical perspectives. This earlier publication highlights how successful active ageing requires commitment and involvement from ageing workers themselves and employers, in a context that supports learning and recognises the specific needs of ageing workers; and that sustainable labour-market participation at later age cannot be achieved without sound understanding of ageing, working and learning and the interconnections between these processes.

Lee, M. (2009) Just Ageing? Fairness, equality and the life course: Final report (see also: Just Ageing EHRC website)

Green, A. and White, R. (2007) Attachment to place, social networks, mobility and prospects of young people. This report explores how social networks and attachment to place shape young people’s attitudes towards education, training and work opportunities, and looks at the scope for interventions to ‘widen horizons’ and enhance access to opportunities.

Hirsch, D. et al. (2005) Sustaining working lives: a framework for policy and practice. Set of papers produced as a follow-up to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Transitions after 50 research programme:

Humphrey, A., Costigan, P., Pickering, K., Stratford, N. and Barnes, M. (2003) 'Factors affecting the labour market participation of older workers' Department for Work and Pensions Research Report 200.

OECD (2006) Live Longer, Work Longer - A synthesis report executive summary draws main lessons from the 21 country reviews which have been published separately under the OECD’s series on "Ageing and Employment Policies".

Prospects (2011) Handling discrimination: Age Stereotyping on the basis of age is deeply ingrained in the UK. In the wider labour market both the youngest and the oldest come up against prejudice. New graduate jobseekers face a different manifestation of age discrimination: sometimes they are wrongly expected to be exclusively in their early twenties.

Organisations focused on issues related to age and employment

DirectGov – Age Discrimination at Work - Government advice

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) - Promoting equality

Age UK – work and learning – advice from charity

Employers Forum on Age (EFA) promotes an age-diverse workforce. Their publications include:

  • The Gap in the Workplace: Generation Y (2008) emerging issues employers are facing when trying to engage with young people from Generation Y;
  • Flexible retirement - A snapshot of large employers' initiatives (2002) 20 case studies;
  • Defining Ageism (2006) a range of scenarios were presented to over a thousand people to establish tolerance levels over pay, management styles and team fit. Respondents were split down the middle on all the critical issues, highlighting the difficulty employers will face in tackling ageism.
  • Change At Any Age Report investigation of the opportunities and barriers for career changes and re-training for different people. This was mapped against age, life-stage and gender.

The Age and Employment Network (TAEN) – TAEN produce guides to age legislation and a range of resources including:

Age Positive DWP site with relevant publications including the following: 

Footnote: There was a lively discussion thread on the old NGRF site relating to age discrimination and the role of guidance: the link provides access to that 2005 discussion.