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
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
Cedefop (2010) Working and ageing - Emerging theories and empirical perspectives.
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:
- Sustaining working lives: A framework for policy and practice, Donald Hirsch
- Am I still needed? Guidance and learning for older adults, Geoff Ford
- Older workers and work-life balance, Sue Yeandle
- A coming of age: Experiences of work and sustaining workability, Linda Boyes and Jim McCormick
- Support for working carers, Marilyn Howard
- Summary of the framework
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:
- TAEN (2011) Rethinking Retirement: An employer's guide to managing the workforce without a fixed retirement age: A Saga / TAEN guide.
- TAEN (2011) Managing without Fixed Retirement: A checklist and first briefing for HR managers
- TAEN (2010) Is Business Ready for an Ageing Nation? TAEN Response to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS) Consultation
- TAEN (2009) Supporting organisations to manage age successfully in the workplace
- TAEN (2011) TAEN Response to Modern Workplaces Consultation to DBIS consultation
- TAEN (2009) What Does Career Mean to People in Their 60th Year? explores the reflections, projections and interpretations of work and career to date of people approaching 60.
- TAEN (2008) Career Guidance and Advancement People who have had successful careers often tell of defining moments which set them on their paths to success. Generally they were lucky to get good advice - well aimed and well heeded. Help delivered in the right way, at the right time, changes lives. Professional, sensitively delivered help is something we can all use, including mid-career and older people.
- TAEN (2002) Challenging Age Executive Summary Stereotypes of older employees persist, and low value is placed on the skills and experience of older workers; many people over 45 years want to work, learn and continue to use their abilities in their later years; many want a 'second chance'; to access high quality information, advice, and guidance; and retraining to enable them to overcome barriers to employment; adult information and advice must play a key role in helping mid-life and older adults to work, learn and earn. The role of high-quality advice and guidance in helping many mid-life and older adults to work, learn and earn requires greater recognition. Potentially the benefits for individuals, employers, government revenues and personal savings towards retirement are considerable.
Age Positive DWP site with relevant publications including the following:
- Workforce management without a fixed retirement age
- Answers to employer questions on older workers and retirement
- The macroeconomic impact from extending working lives (DWP 2011)
- Second survey of employers’ policies, practices and preferences relating to age (DWP/BIS 2010)
- Pathways to retirement: The influence of employer policy and practice on retirement decisions (DWP 2010)
- Practical Tips and Guidance on Training a Mixed-Age Workforce (DWP 2005)
- Older Workers Statistical Information Booklet, Quarter two, 2010 This booklet presents employment statistics on people aged 50 and above in the UK.
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.