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19 September 2011 | PR 11/112

Over 50s called on for national study


Researchers at Loughborough University are hoping to talk to workers, job seekers and employers of workers aged 50 and over as part of a study that explores the benefits and obstacles to working up to and beyond state pension age.

With twice as many workers aged 50 plus compared to under-25s now in employment in the UK, there is a pressing need for employment policies, workplace design and occupational health provision to take account of the needs of the ageing workforce.

As part of the national Working Late project led by Professor Cheryl Haslam, staff in the University’s Work and Health Research Centre want to learn about the experiences of over-50s in the workplace, including balancing work and other commitments, and securing employment.

The research team is also keen to speak to employers of over-50s, including line managers and HR professionals.

Researcher Ricardo Twumasi explains the significance of the project.

“As the working population continues to age, the contribution of older workers is of greater importance than ever,” he said. “With pension reforms, removal of the default retirement age and a recent increase in age discrimination cases such as Miriam O'Reilly vs. the BBC, there are many topics to discuss.

“In this research we wish to investigate people’s personal experiences of working into later life. Results will help policy makers develop guidance to support the inclusion and well-being of people over 50, to ultimately help companies support and understand the needs and experiences of their employees.”

Interviews have been on-going since June and have already generated some interesting findings, such as the fact many over-50 job seekers feel their job applications are side-lined due to age. However, very few of these make formal complaints.

Anyone interested in taking part should contact Ricardo on 01509 223 025 or email a.r.twumasi@lboro.ac.uk

Participants will be asked to take part in an interview of up to an hour either face-to-face or over the phone. All information collected will be strictly confidential, though companies that take part will receive anonymous feedback to help them develop their own policies and support.  


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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