Award will recognise companies that value older workers

THE importance of employing and retaining skilled people in the 50-plus age range is being recognised in a new award sponsored by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA).

The Positive Work-Life Award 2009 is open to all organisations in the region whose working environment promotes and supports age diversity. Businesses, public sector organisations and voluntary agencies are all eligible to apply. The deadline for award applications is Thursday 30 April.

Sheila Childerhouse, deputy chair of the EEDA, told Peterborough Business: “This region has one of the fastest growing populations in the UK and by current trends half the people in the East of England will be over 50 by 2021, while the 15-29 year age group will account for only 42% of our region’s population.

“All organisations need to prepare for this shift in the age of the population to ensure they attract and retain the best talents for their workforce. This is all the more important in the economic downturn, where expertise and experience can be a huge advantage to a business.

“Mature experienced and skilled employees are a valuable resource which can benefit both the business and the individuals within the organisation, for example through mentoring new or younger employees, which often results in a two-way learning process. It’s vitally important to have a good age mix.”

The award is one of the categories in the regional Business in the Community (BITC) Awards for Excellence 2009. These are independent, corporate awards given to organisations which are leading the way with responsible business practice.

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