Isle of Wight and Cardiff Councils sign age-friendly employer pledge

Isle Wight Cardiff CouncilIsle of Wight Council, Cardiff Council and Leeds City Council have become age-friendly employers by signing a pledge to support their older employees.

Other local authorities that have signed the pledge include the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, East Riding, Wealden District Council, Winchester City Council, Lincolnshire County Council City of Doncaster Council and East Lindsey District Council.

Established by the Centre for Ageing Better, the age-friendly employer pledge was launched to help overcome ageism in the workplace and assist employers to resolve skills shortages and record vacancy rates. Signatories commit to taking at least one action a year to improve the recruitment, retention and development of older workers, such as identifying a senior sponsor for age-inclusion, and ensuring that age is mentioned within equality, diversity and inclusion policies.

In order to support its older workers, Isle of Wight Council introduced in-house age-friendly training and has made more staff aware of the challenges experienced by older people. It also has a team of age-friendly champions that support employees when planning and implementing changes to ensure full consideration is given.

Sharon Betts, director for corporate services at Isle of Wight Council, said: “Our employment offer supports flexible working around people’s personal needs, including reduced hours, agile working arrangements and part-time contracts. We understand that our older members of staff may have caring responsibilities and have supported the development of a staff networking group to share experiences and gain support.”

Councillor Norma Mackie, cabinet member for social services and older person’s champion at Cardiff Council, added: “Becoming an age-friendly employer sends a strong message to our own workforce and prospective employees that we value the contribution of our older staff and the experience and knowledge they bring to their roles.

“We want to set the standard for other employers in the city to follow and be able to provide information and advice on ways they can make their own business or organisation more age-friendly with a view to joining the pledge scheme too.”