We are all living for longer, which means, for the majority of us, we will also be working for a greater length of time. This presents both challenges and opportunities for older workers. Over the ten-year period between 2003 and 2013, the number of adults in NI aged 65 and over increased by 22%. The trend is expected to continue with the proportion of the population in this age group projected to increase by 63% to just under half a million people by 2033.

Many older people want to continue in employment for a number of reasons. These might include wanting to stay connected with others, maintaining a sense of purpose, or for some it might be for financial reasons. However, as caring responsibilities (e.g. older parents/grandchildren), health and other interests become more prevalent, employers need to offer greater flexibility and opportunities to retain important expertise, and ensure that the contribution of older workers is valued.

This project (Age at Work) aims to support those people (50+) who want to continue working, by ensuring they have the skills, tools and support to do so. It also highlights the need to begin preparation for work in later life and retirement at an earlier stage.

Age at Work is delivered on a partnership basis and has been designed to effect systemic change that will last beyond the lifespan of the project and to ensure the active involvement of key stakeholders and beneficiaries in the creation, assessment and benefits of the programme.

Age at Work will support older workers (50+) to remain/return to work in order to help them have enough income, stay connected and have a fuller working life. It aims to . . .

  • Raise awareness of the impact of an ageing workforce and the need for an age-inclusive agenda in government, business and wider society
  • Encourage and support businesses to be more age-inclusive in retaining, retraining and recruiting older workers
  • Support more older workers to remain or return to work

Key activities include the following:

  • Mid-career Reviews: Age NI will support 1000+ individuals seeking a refresh of their current role, skills and prospects by providing tailored mid-career reviews. The aim of these is to increase the confidence, skills, and opportunities to remain in work for those who wish to do so.
  • Still Ready for Work: this programme will provide training, pre-employment workshops and support for those older workers not currently in employment or seeking a change of career. Following a two-day, intensive training programme designed to build confidence and skills, participants will undertake a two-week-minimum work placement.
  • Awareness-raising of our Ageing Workforce: Age NI and Business in the Community NI aim to raise awareness through a dedicated education campaign delivered via social and traditional media, strategic events, and consultations with business and other key stakeholders.
  • Age Academy: Led by Business in the Community NI, an Age Academy will be developed with 250 people (aged 50+) identified to benefit from tailored training and employment support, with a target of 200 completing placements and 50% into employment.
  • Skills Audit/Business Triage: Business in the Community NI will lead on carrying out age-focused skills audits with 100+ employers to identify areas for support and to develop and deliver tailored age-inclusive action plans, using Business in the Community NI’s network to identify participants.

Contact: Eamon Clarke

For more information on the Mid-Career Review, contact Age NI at www.ageni.org/ageatwork