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Unformatted text preview: Training an age-diverse workforce Becci Newton Abstract Purpose Aims to address the myths and age-related barriers that currently deter employers from training workers of different ages. Design/methodology/approach This study is the culmination of four strands of research activity: qualitative interviews with a range of national experts to inform the context for the research and the key issues to be explored. The interviews also helped to identify the training channels available to employers and their workers. Review of the current policy and academic literatures. Secondary data analysis of the Labour Force Survey, 2004 and National Adult Learning Survey, 2002. Also includes LSC data from the Employer Training Pilots and Modern Apprenticeships. Case studies of five organisations which demonstrate good practice in training a mixed-age workforce. Throughout the study, references to older workers mean people aged over 50. Findings There is a clear association between age and the amount of training offered to and received by workers. Employees aged over 55 were less likely than other workers to participate in training, or to have been offered it. Older employees were also less likely than younger or mid-life workers to take up any opportunities for training that were made available. Furthermore, older workers were more likely only to have received on-the-job training. Originality/value Provides the evidence and practical guidance on the variety of training support channels and on age-diverse training practices. Keywords Training, Equal opportunities, Age discrimination, Older workers Paper type Research paper A ge diversity has become an important factor for companies in the attraction and recruitment of staff. Few can have failed, for instance, to hear about how the big retailers have sought to recruit older workers, and see benefits in their maturity for handling customers and work situations. The CIPD (2003) notes that failure to address age diversity can add to the problems of the war for talent . . . that many employers experience. They also stress the importance of age diversity in facilitating knowledge management. Employing an age diverse workforce is beginning to become a business imperative. However, while there is this emphasis on the benefits of a mixed age workforce, it also appears that once recruited, it appears that older workers face barriers in their professional development. Indeed, recent research has shown that there is marked decline in work-related training participation beyond the age of 50 (DWP, 2005). Why should this be the case is it something about older workers themselves or do other factors underpin this trend?...
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- Spring '08