The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has signed the age-friendly employer pledge, reinforcing its commitment to recognising the contributions of older workers.
In joining the programme, the umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in England has agreed to take one action every year to improve the recruitment, development and retention of these employees.
The commitment also means the body will find a senior sponsor for age inclusion among its staff members and ensure that age is specifically mentioned in its equality, diversity and inclusion policies.
Woosh Raza, director of people, culture and inclusion at NCVO, said: “We are delighted to be making this pledge to recognise and celebrate the wealth of knowledge and experience older workers bring to the sector.
“We will be working hard to listen and learn about what it means to be a truly age-friendly employer as we strive to continue building an inclusive organisation for all.”
Launched by the Centre for Ageing Better in late 2022, the nationwide pledge has so far been signed by more than 150 organisations, including Oliver Bonas, Zurich Insurance, Virgin Hotels and Ipsos UK, as well as various government departments. It covers nearly 300,000 workers in sectors such as hospitality, finance, public and voluntary.
In the charity and voluntary sectors, NCVO joins Age UK, RSPCA and the Fawcett Society, which have all made the commitment to help tackle ageism at work and help resolve vacancy and skill shortage problems in the workplace.
Dr Emily Andrews, deputy director for work at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “With an older population that is becoming both larger and more diverse, it has never been more important for organisations in the voluntary and community sector to be age friendly. But physical, practical and emotional barriers mean that over 50s miss out on the benefits of getting involved with voluntary and community organisations all too often.
“Signing the age-friendly employer pledge is a brilliant way for voluntary and community organisations to kick off their journey towards becoming age-inclusive and show that they recognise the importance of older workers.”