After 15 successful years, Kingswood has a new website and a new story to tell..
It is now 10 years since age discrimination became unlawful in the UK and 5 years since the Statutory Retirement Age was abolished.
When these changes were being introduced, Jane Barmer and I worked together on several projects aimed at raising awareness of the ageing population and the need to recruit and retain older workers. The business case was clear and the statistics indisputable. As the Baby Boomer generation ages and birth rates fall, it was a time when, for the first time, we saw the number of people over the age of 65 exceeding those under the age of 16. It was predicted that very soon over one third of the workplace would be made up of over 50 year olds.
But how much has changed and how did employers react? The employment rate for people aged over 65 has doubled since 2004 to just over 10% and there is some evidence of employers taking an innovative approach to valuing and engaging older workers. However, we know that many older workers still face discrimination in the workplace and are leaving work early due to redundancy, ill-health or difficulties juggling caring responsibilities.
From a business growth perspective, we know that by 2030 over 65’s will make up 25% of the total adult consumer market. Yet still we see examples of outdated age stereotyping in marketing and promotional media. We also know that accessing goods and services can be frustrating for many older people who experience sensory loss or mobility issues.
These demographic changes are now beginning to have a real impact on our society. We believe that much more needs to be done if sectors of our economy are to avoid being crippled by skills shortages. We have the potential to enrich the lives of older people and boost business performance and the time for change is long overdue.
So we have decided to do something positive to make a difference to how organisations understand and respond to older workers and consumers . Our aim is to inspire organisations to challenge existing stereotypes of age and support them to adapt policies and practices to meet the needs of older employees and an ageing consumer marketplace.We believe that everyone has the right to enjoy a healthy and happy third age and that people of all ages should have the opportunity to contribute to work and to their communities and develop their full potential.
Kingswood already has a sound track record in promoting diversity and developing leaders and managers. Jane Barmer brings a wealth of experience from over 30 years working with Age UK and forwarding the agenda for older people. Together we offer a one-stop shop for organisations who want to become Age Confident in managing an ageing workforce and engaging older consumers.
Take a look at the new website to find out more what we offer and how we work. Follow our blogs to be inspired about the latest issues and thinking on age. And please get in touch to continue the conversation about how we can work with you to make a difference.
And many thanks to Loyalty Matters for giving us a fantastic new image!
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