Earlier today Radio 4's You and Yours programme included a short discussion about the issues facing older people trying to get into work. The discussion was based around research from Anglia Ruskin University, published in February.
Wise Age is happy to promote all research which highlights the employment and other discrimination facing older working age people. We have been researching and promoting the terrible ageism facing older working age people( 50+) which has led to over 3.5 million 50-64 year olds being without work. While we have helped train and support thousands of over 50s back into employment and self employment we also have promoted the benefits of older workers and of age diversity in employment to employers, government and the media.
Wise Age has been campaigning for years for greater recognition of the role of older working age people to the economy so this belated recognition by the Guardian is welcome.
However it is important to remember there are still 3.5 million over 50s out of work who need support and training to help them when they request it back to work. Only 330 thousand are officially on Job Seekers Allowance or Universal credit but many more want to get back into work.
Also it is no good putting up the pension age unless there are jobs for older people to do - at present around half of people aged 64 have a job.
The rise of over 65s in work (1.2 million) shows people can and do want to work when they can, although remember that many are forced to by poverty and that many are in low paid or zero hour contracts.
The other aspect missing in this article is the difference between the three generations of the over 50s: the older working age - up to 65+, active pensioners (who play a key role in caring and voluntary work up to 75/80) and then the older old - the 80+ - many of whom are still active and still help in caring for partners and elderly relatives and who prefer to live independently and at home if they can.
We hope that there will be greater awareness and support shown towards older people and their economic contribution and hope that there is more publicity around this issue.
You can read the Guardian article here: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/04/job-opportunities-should-not-wither-as-we-age