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GOVERNMENT AIMS TO DELIVER REAL IMPROVEMENTS FOR OLDER PEOPLE

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Speaking at the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU), pensions minister Ian ...
Speaking at the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU), pensions minister Ian

McCartney promised to deliver real improvements for older people so that they can enjoy secure, healthy, active and fulfilling later lives.

Mr McCartney said:

'Taking action to help older people is high on our agenda. We are

committed to putting in place policies that will help older people

play a full part in society. One of our key aims is to tackle

discrimination and increase opportunities to help older people remain

active in later life - through work, community activity and lifelong

learning.

'In order to retain a healthy economy, older people with their wealth

of talent and experience are a resource we cannot afford to waste. We

need to see a major shift in our working culture that recognises the

benefits of a balanced workforce.

'By retaining older workers, employers keep experienced staff with

valuable skills, have lower staff turnover and get greater

flexibility and choice in their workforce.'

There are three stages to the government's employment strategy for

older people: changing employers' attitudes to older workers through

the Age Positive Campaign providing incentives to older workers to

return to work through initiatives such as the New Deal 50 plus

Introducing legislation to outlaw age discrimination in employment by

2006.

Mr McCartney continued:

'Yesterday we published research into flexible retirement polices

that provided us with a snapshot of what is currently in operation.

'This report provides further insight on the subject and allows the

governnment to decide how policies to support flexible retirement can

be developed and implemented. We are promoting the benefits of

adopting a flexible approach to retirement for the business benefits

it offer employers and the greater choice it offers people in

extending working life.'

Mr McCartney also outlined the major contribution that learning plays

in helping older people fight discrimination by giving them the

confidence and skills they need to compete for interesting and

rewarding employment and to play a full role in their local

communities.

NOTE

1. The report on flexible retirement, Reference No. APR 001, is

available on the Age Positive website at www.agepositive.gov.uk

and from DWP Publications on 0845 60 222 60

2. The research report on flexible retirement shows:

- the government's commitment to promoting the benefits of adopting a

flexible approach to retirement for the business benefits it offers

to employers and the greater choice for people

- how large organisations are dealing with the issues and how

policies to support flexible retirement can be developed and

implemented

- employers implementing flexible retirement practices are doing so

to meet core business needs such as skills retention and give wider

choice to their workforce.

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