Ahead of the game with older workers

This Is Wiltshire: Nationwide's Swindon headquarters Nationwide's Swindon headquarters

GOVERNMENT figures released this week show an above average number of 50 to 64-year-olds are in employment in Swindon.

Just under 72 per cent are in work, with the average being 67.7 per cent, putting Swindon in the top third of local authorities for older workers with jobs.

It comes as work continues from a variety of agencies to stamp out the stereotypes that older workers have nothing to offer employers.

The Government is also trying to get the message across that people dropping out of the workplace has a negative effect on the economy through lost labour.

The news that Swindon is one of the top employers has been welcomed by the Chamber of Commerce, which says there are many benefits to hiring older workers, including the experience they bring.

Clair Prosser, the policy executive, said: “Older workers have a lifetime of skills and experience to bring to the table: communication skills, writing, spelling and grammar. And perhaps, most importantly, crisis management and ‘thinking outside of the box’ when problems arise.

“But an important aspect is that any successful workforce needs a mix of ages and skillsets to work at its best.

“So a workforce across the age spectrum will be the strongest. Such experiences from an older workforce are shared down the employee age chain – to the younger workforce.

“Feeding valuable knowledge along this chain is key for younger staff to develop quickly. And regular presence in an office by an older workforce means they are looked up to by younger colleagues. In essence, older workers provide a glowing wisdom.”

Swindon is home to a number of major employers. Among them is Nationwide which has led the way in making sure it has a diverse workforce and several years ago removed the retirement age completely.

Nationwide’s Director of Human Resources, Keith Astill said: “Nationwide has a relationship with one-in-four UK households, and quite simply it makes good business sense to have a workforce that reflects our diverse membership.

“As a result we work hard to ensure we employ a spectrum of people from within the communities we serve, regardless of background. Like gender, faith or ethnicity, age shouldn’t be a barrier to work.

“The important thing to consider is whether the person can do the job and if their values are aligned to ours as an organisation.

“As a diverse employer, we’ve really pushed ourselves to lead in this area, and in 2005 we became the first major UK organisation to change its employment policy so that employees could work until the age of 75. Then, in 2011, we removed the retirement age completely.

“Today, some 16 per cent of our staff are aged 50 and over, with two per cent aged 60 and above.

“Having a blend of experience helps this and it’s no coincidence that Nationwide has the most satisfied customers on the high street compared to our peers.”

Comments (8)

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1:36pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Cooking_by_smoke_alarm says...

We're not old, just the packaging is a little more creased and threadbare that's all.
We're not old, just the packaging is a little more creased and threadbare that's all. Cooking_by_smoke_alarm
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Fri 22 Aug 14

tucker81 says...

No substitute for experience, my manager is 72 and going strong
No substitute for experience, my manager is 72 and going strong tucker81
  • Score: -1

4:12pm Fri 22 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

tucker81 wrote:
No substitute for experience, my manager is 72 and going strong
Yes and no. Just because you have done something for a long time doesn't necessarily mean you know what you are doing, loads of "dead wood" about. But older workers tend to be more reliable and responsible, understand that the customer comes first and can combine old fashioned real customer service with new technology to give the best of both worlds whereas a lot of younger workers have never learnt reals customer service just sell, sell, sell. And where I work it is always the younger ones off sick and messing around. A balance of both is the way to go.
[quote][p][bold]tucker81[/bold] wrote: No substitute for experience, my manager is 72 and going strong[/p][/quote]Yes and no. Just because you have done something for a long time doesn't necessarily mean you know what you are doing, loads of "dead wood" about. But older workers tend to be more reliable and responsible, understand that the customer comes first and can combine old fashioned real customer service with new technology to give the best of both worlds whereas a lot of younger workers have never learnt reals customer service just sell, sell, sell. And where I work it is always the younger ones off sick and messing around. A balance of both is the way to go. house on the hill
  • Score: 1

5:39pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Alan Bast*rd says...

Plenty of youngsters cannot get jobs as they have no experience. companies go for the candidates with experience. Does giving older people jobs hinder today's kids?
Not knocking people for working,just throwing it out there.
Plenty of youngsters cannot get jobs as they have no experience. companies go for the candidates with experience. Does giving older people jobs hinder today's kids? Not knocking people for working,just throwing it out there. Alan Bast*rd
  • Score: 1

8:14pm Fri 22 Aug 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

If Gordon Brown hadn't raided their pensions perhaps they could afford to retire.....!
If Gordon Brown hadn't raided their pensions perhaps they could afford to retire.....! LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: -1

2:54pm Sat 23 Aug 14

Phantom Poster says...

Alan Bast*rd wrote:
Plenty of youngsters cannot get jobs as they have no experience. companies go for the candidates with experience. Does giving older people jobs hinder today's kids?
Not knocking people for working,just throwing it out there.
To be a successful company and guarantee continuing jobs for existing employees then surely you choose the best person for the job - you don't try and fill some sort of politically correct quotas.

How would you feel being an "older" person desperate for a job, but losing out to someone who you know doesn't have anything near the level of experience you do?

Due to the "demographic time-bomb" and the raising of pension ages we have to accept that people will now be working into their 70's.
[quote][p][bold]Alan Bast*rd[/bold] wrote: Plenty of youngsters cannot get jobs as they have no experience. companies go for the candidates with experience. Does giving older people jobs hinder today's kids? Not knocking people for working,just throwing it out there.[/p][/quote]To be a successful company and guarantee continuing jobs for existing employees then surely you choose the best person for the job - you don't try and fill some sort of politically correct quotas. How would you feel being an "older" person desperate for a job, but losing out to someone who you know doesn't have anything near the level of experience you do? Due to the "demographic time-bomb" and the raising of pension ages we have to accept that people will now be working into their 70's. Phantom Poster
  • Score: -1

3:46pm Sat 23 Aug 14

knittynora says...

So if people are working till they are 70, how do the younger age group get experience and job skills? I worked with several of these managerial types who stayed well into their 70s. They had good pensions waiting for them and were blocking a whole group of possible promotions which would have created openings at the bottom of the ladder. I suspect they thought they were indispensable. this was proved incorrect as one had a fatal heart attack and within a month the other saw sense and left. Guess what, after the posts were filled the business continued - improved if anything.
For everything there is a season, work and retirement. Its pretty sad if you have nothing in your life except work.
So if people are working till they are 70, how do the younger age group get experience and job skills? I worked with several of these managerial types who stayed well into their 70s. They had good pensions waiting for them and were blocking a whole group of possible promotions which would have created openings at the bottom of the ladder. I suspect they thought they were indispensable. this was proved incorrect as one had a fatal heart attack and within a month the other saw sense and left. Guess what, after the posts were filled the business continued - improved if anything. For everything there is a season, work and retirement. Its pretty sad if you have nothing in your life except work. knittynora
  • Score: 1

8:28pm Sat 23 Aug 14

Alan Bast*rd says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
Alan Bast*rd wrote:
Plenty of youngsters cannot get jobs as they have no experience. companies go for the candidates with experience. Does giving older people jobs hinder today's kids?
Not knocking people for working,just throwing it out there.
To be a successful company and guarantee continuing jobs for existing employees then surely you choose the best person for the job - you don't try and fill some sort of politically correct quotas.

How would you feel being an "older" person desperate for a job, but losing out to someone who you know doesn't have anything near the level of experience you do?

Due to the "demographic time-bomb" and the raising of pension ages we have to accept that people will now be working into their 70's.
I get that. I just think it's becoming increasingly difficult for youngsters to get their chance nowadays. People working later in life I think will make it increasingly difficult for them.
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan Bast*rd[/bold] wrote: Plenty of youngsters cannot get jobs as they have no experience. companies go for the candidates with experience. Does giving older people jobs hinder today's kids? Not knocking people for working,just throwing it out there.[/p][/quote]To be a successful company and guarantee continuing jobs for existing employees then surely you choose the best person for the job - you don't try and fill some sort of politically correct quotas. How would you feel being an "older" person desperate for a job, but losing out to someone who you know doesn't have anything near the level of experience you do? Due to the "demographic time-bomb" and the raising of pension ages we have to accept that people will now be working into their 70's.[/p][/quote]I get that. I just think it's becoming increasingly difficult for youngsters to get their chance nowadays. People working later in life I think will make it increasingly difficult for them. Alan Bast*rd
  • Score: 1

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