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
'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
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
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
- employers implementing flexible retirement practices are doing so
to meet core business needs such as skills retention and give wider
choice to their workforce.