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£400,000 National Lottery funding for older workers in Wales

Published on 24 June 2019 02:55 PM

The National Lottery Community Fund is investing more than £400,000 on a project to support older people to remain in or return to work in Wales.

Age Cymru, in partnership with Business in the Community (BITC) Cymru, has been awarded the grant for the five-year Age at Work project which is raising awareness of an ageing workforce and supporting businesses in Wales to be more age inclusive.

By supporting older people to remain in or return to work, the project is helping them to have enough income, stay connected, and develop new skills.

The project is therefore urging businesses in Wales to recruit, retain and retrain older workers. It is also offering resources, advice and support.

In effect, the project is encouraging employers in Wales to embrace an ageing workforce who may need to juggle caring responsibilities or health issues with their work. It aims to show that a multi-generational workforce offers many benefits.

Age Cymru and BITC Cymru's counterparts in Northern Ireland and Scotland are also delivering the project in their countries.

Age Cymru's chief executive, Victoria Lloyd said: "We are all living for longer, which means that for many of us, we will also be working for a greater length of time. This presents both challenges and opportunities for older workers and employers.

"Our research shows that 50% of the workforce in Wales are likely to work past the state pension age specifically to be able to afford their desired lifestyle in retirement. While 48% said they simply don't think they will have enough money to retire.

"Others (44%) said they enjoy the social side of work and would get bored staying at home. Interestingly 53% said they would welcome the opportunity to have a mid-career review.

"Clearly, there is a need for such a project to support older workers in Wales." (i)

Matt Appleby, BITC Cymru director, said: "Wales' future workforce is going to be an older workforce - and we need to be prepared for this. We must make sure that we make the most of the experience and expertise of older employees.

"It makes financial and social sense to develop, train and nurture older workers – and all responsible businesses need to ensure that they know how to maximise their potential.

"Everyone needs to make sure that this valuable resource is suitably equipped and supported for today's workplace and this campaign aims to show the way. Get in touch with us if you'd like to know more.

"BITC Cymru is proud to be a part of the Age at Work programme in Wales".

Case Study

Karen Welch

Corporate Communications Officer

Western Power Distribution

I am 65 years old and work for electricity distribution company Western Power Distribution. This September I will have worked in the power industry for 48 years. My role is Corporate Communications Officer which is very varied. It can involve a wide range of activities like dealing with media and social media enquiries, writing press releases and features for our staff newspaper, as well as co-ordinating our sponsorship and event management.

I have always enjoyed my job and still do. At my age I obviously have quite a few years of experience but I feel that I still have a lot to give. Even at my age I'm still learning new skills and as long as I am healthy I hope to continue working for a few more years yet. Although my role is quite demanding I think it keeps me young. I particularly enjoy the social side of it, like the company of my colleagues and the people I meet.

Notes to Editors

Reference i: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1025 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st and 25th September 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Wales adults (aged 18+).

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