Greater Manchester launches toolkit helping employers create an age-friendly workplace

Date published: 20 May 2022

Greater Manchester has become the first city-region to launch a toolkit designed to help and inform employers on the positive impact an age-friendly workplace can bring.

The Age-Friendly Toolkit for employers aims to help businesses reap the benefits of a thriving and age-friendly workforce. The toolkit includes information on flexible working, how to hire age-positively as well as advice on how to encourage career development at all ages, and is based on the five principles established by the Centre for Ageing Better in their guide to ‘Becoming an Age-Friendly Employer’.

Analysis from the OECD shows older workers are likely to play a key role in boosting an organisations performance as a result of their lower job turnover, management experience and general work experience. Further data also showed that having a worker over 50 increased productivity of co-workers, particularly younger colleagues.

GMCA continues to support lifelong learning and the development of skills for adults. Skills courses, funded through a range of programme including Greater Manchester’s devolved Adult Education Budget and European Social Fund Skills for Growth, have been developed to give adults access to the essential life and vocational skills they need to progress in the world of work, improving employability and ensuring people of all ages in the city-region have the opportunity to progress their careers.

Councillor Bev Craig, GMCA lead for Education Skills, Work & Apprenticeships, and Digital said: “The World Health Organization previously named Greater Manchester as the first age-friendly city-region in the UK, and we are now the first city-region to develop an innovative toolkit to help employers to build an age-friendly workforce.

“There are a vast number of opportunities an age-friendly workplace can bring, not only to individual businesses and employers, but also to the overall economic health and prosperity of our city-region. We want Greater Manchester workers to feel they are valued and have work prospects, regardless of their age.”

Kim Chaplain, Specialist Advisor for Work at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “There is clear evidence that an age-inclusive workforce benefits employers and employees alike; keeping over 50s in good jobs will see everyone in the workplace benefit from the wealth and diversity of experience that many older workers can bring.

“This toolkit really is a pioneering approach to promoting age-friendly practice and Greater Manchester will set the context for other regions to follow.”   

Employers have been sharing stories of the positive impact an age-friendly workforce has brought to their organisations, including Electricity North West which is one of the founding members of Greater Manchester’s Good Employment Charter.

Rachael Parr, Human Resources Director at Electricity North West, said: “A third of our workforce is over the age of 50, with some of our colleagues choosing to work on into their 70s, sharing their valued experience with colleagues.

“All employees take part in performance reviews and are encouraged to have personal development plans in place. There are no restrictions on the roles individuals can aspire to and Learning and Development opportunities are open to all.”

The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub is a group of organisations across public, voluntary and private sector, working together to ensure Greater Manchester is a great place to grow older. GMCA is in partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better to develop and share innovative approaches to tackle social, economic and health inequalities in later life. GMCA continues to find new ways of working to tackle unemployment in people over 50 by providing new skills and training opportunities.

Greater Manchester has also developed a Good Employment Charter, which launched in 2019. The Charter is a voluntary scheme which raises employment standards across the city-region, including payment of the real living wage and flexible working.

To download the Age-Friendly Toolkit please visit

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