A campaign to shift ageist attitudes in the workplace will be launched this week by the Department for Education and Employment. It includes posters and the national roll-out of New Deal for people over 50.
Announcing the initiative, Education and Employment Minister Margaret Hodge warned of socio-demographic changes which will force employers to change recruitment and retention policies in favour of older staff.
By 2005, more than 36 per cent of the labour market will be aged over 45. By 2010 almost 40 per cent will be in that age group, while the number of 20 to 29-year-olds will drop by 20 per cent.
New Deal for the over-50s has been piloted in selected parts of the country and will go national from April. It includes advice, a cash employment credit and help towards the cost of training for full and part-time workers.
The DfEE is keen to change views and wants more employers to adopt the Code of Practice on Age Diversity in Employment.