Achieving Impact on Age at Work - Business in the Community

Achieving Impact on Age at Work

Post author image. Angela Watson
As we celebrate National Older Workers Week, discover how in recent years, Business in the Community has provided vital support through its Age at Work programme.

This week is National Older Workers Week, which marks the vital role played by the third of the UK workforce who are over 50. Business in the Community (BITC) is an established provider of support for our members on age in the workplace. Across mid-life career planning, health and wellbeing, especially menopause, inclusive recruitment and caring, we help our members adopt more age-inclusive workplace policies and practices to support their growing older workforces.

BITC’s Age at Work programme

Alongside our member support, for the last four years, BITC has also provided vital support for more than 50 jobseekers and employees, together with their employers, via a ground-breaking employment and employability programme, Age at Work.

The programme is delivered across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI, with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. Through a range of initiatives the programme seeks to:

  • support older jobseekers and employees to find and remain in work.
  • help employers be more age-inclusive in retaining, retraining and recruiting older workers.
  • raise awareness of the impact of an ageing workforce in government, business and wider society.

Impact and Inspiration

The programme has had a transformational effect on the potential for older workers and jobseekers across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and has already supported more than over 2,000 over 50s.

  • The Age-Inclusive Business Review has been used by over 80 businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland to help them spot strengths and gaps in their approach to becoming a more age-friendly employer. Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water used the bespoke report to produce an action plan to enhance employee satisfaction and engagement. One specific action was setting up a Carers’ Network that supports over 50s who may be caring for parents or grandchildren.
  • Still Ready for Work online employability sessions and Mid-Career Reviews support people aged 50+ to become more informed about their finances and wellbeing and stay motivated, confident and connected as they take the next step in their career or back into the world of work. Read about Cliff Davitt who got involved in Still Ready for Work and returned to work after taking time out to care for his late wife. A Mid-Career Review participant in Wales, who attended a finance session, commented, “I felt the workshops were extremely useful and a reality check. I had a bad experience where my mum had to watch every penny once she retired. I don’t want to be in the same position.”
  • We’re connecting businesses via our Age-Inclusive Learning Networks, which bring businesses together to share best practice and profile age-friendly leaders. We’ve helped Northern Ireland-based Danske Bank raise awareness and offer training on menopause.

Get involved

  • Visit our Age at Work programme hub for more information on what’s available in your area and to access resources, networks and support plus information on upcoming events.
  • If you’re in Scotland, join us on 5 December at the University of Edinburgh Business School to hear from leading experts and policymakers on current thinking around the role businesses play in supporting healthy ageing at work, and view innovative practical solutions from the Supporting Healthy Ageing at Work (SHAW) Project.
  • Northern Ireland-based businesses can join us at an event on 13 March 2024 in Belfast Harbour where we’ll share best practice and the impact of the programme in its fifth year.
  • Wales-based employers can join us next March to share best practice, network and learn about how you can take action on age inclusion. Email our Age Teamto register your interest now.
  • For employers in England, and across the UK nations, learn how BITC can support you to build a more age inclusive workplace. BITC members can also speak to their Relationship Manager to learn more, including about our advisory services, and non-members can join our network.