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Lyttle supports 'United at Work' project

United at Work 8

On 27 February, Business in the Community presented the findings of United at Work, an EU project promoting the integration of older and younger people, to leading Northern Ireland businesses. It was my privilege to support and welcome the event at Parliament Buildings.

As people are now living and working longer than ever, many businesses are seeing increasingly multi-generational workforces. Though this new diversity can pose challenges for employers, it also offers many opportunities. The United at Work intergenerational project brings young and old together into active life through entrepreneurship. The project, led by Santa Casa, is also supported by a range of partners including the Beth Johnson Foundation.

I firmly believe we must grasp the opportunities and tackle the challenges an age diverse workforce brings. The Office for National Statistics identifies that over the next few years, our population will change significantly: 15-64 year olds will decrease by 2%, and those over 65 will increase by 75%.

The contribution of older people in the workforce is estimated to benefit our economy by £2.3 billion by 2037 and must be supported.

The Executive has made the Active Ageing Strategy a priority and is committed to working with business to explore how we can link generations more successfully. That may be through retraining or upskilling older people or encouraging them to volunteer. The United at Work project highlights not only the enormous benefits of ensuring older people are engaged in the workplace but just how much they can bring to the table in terms of mentoring and working with young people to develop entrepreneurial ideas.

Chris in the constituency