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Blog: Covid highlights importance of age inclusive workshops

Published on 06 April 2021 12:43 PM

The number of unemployed people aged over 50 in the UK has increased by a third in the past year according to recent analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics by Rest Less, an online site for over 50s. The figures show there are 91,000 more unemployed older people in the UK than there were 12 months ago.

This is the largest increase in unemployment of all age groups and highlights that older workers have been disproportionately affected by Covid. The impact of unemployment in the over 50s can have a detrimental effect on financial wellbeing in later life.

In delivering our pre-retirement Planning For Your Future workshops to almost 3,000 workers, Age Scotland has found that people often don’t think about future finances until nearer retirement. Unemployment or a change in working circumstances at this time can significantly affect retirement plans.

These figures highlight the need for workplaces to be as age-inclusive as possible, ensuring that any age-related biases are recognised and addressed and helping workers to plan for later life as early as possible.

Despite the many challenges posed by Covid-19 over the past 12 months, we have been able to continue supporting older workers through age inclusive workplace workshops. The quick move from office-based to home working (for those that were able to work remotely) posed an initial challenge as our face-to-face workshops were no longer possible.

However, the team worked quickly to adapt the sessions and before long virtual Planning For Your Future, Age Inclusion and Dementia Awareness workshops were being delivered online to almost 1,000 employees over the course of the year. Dementia awareness training has been particularly well attended as organisations understand the growing need to support staff and customers affected by dementia.

We were delighted when our workshops were recently awarded Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation meaning that the content has been recognised as contributing towards the ongoing learning and development of workers in a number of roles where an understanding of dementia is vital.

As an employer itself, Age Scotland strives to be as age-inclusive as possible having recently completed our own Age Inclusive Matrix programme - an exercise that helps organisations to identify key ways in which it can support employees of all ages to deliver to their full potential.

Amongst other initiatives, we have started the process of becoming a Carer Positive organisation to better support staff who have caring responsibilities. The past 12 months have proved to be a challenging time for many. By helping workplaces to be as age-friendly as possible Age Scotland can further support older workers and their families through the pandemic and beyond.

Find out more at www.age.scot/age-inclusive-workplace 

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