Foresight Future: the impact of ageing demographics on the future of the manufacturing sector

This report will form part of a series for the BIS Office of Government Commerce on the future of manufacturing over next forty years. The project was managed by CROW which partnered with the Helen Hamlyn Trust. A literature review and thirteen stakeholder interviews were conducted as well as secondary analysis of national datasets such as the Working Futures and Labour Force Survey. The work was completed within a one-month timeframe. The report will be published in Autumn 2013

Nuffield report on training and work in later life

This report was commissioned by the Nuffield Foundation. It assembles evidence from a wide range of sources to explore the relationship between skills, training and work for people over the age of 50.

DWP Age Legislation: a sectoral perspective

The project investigated age management practices in organisations across industrial sectors, consisting of two phases. In the first, we undertook a secondary analysis of data collected through a national survey of 2087 employers, carried out by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the British Market Research Bureau in 2004-5. This survey explored a wide range of employment practices. This work led to the publication of short sectoral reports on the nine sectors where sample numbers were large enough to draw reasonable conclusions. In the second phase, the research team conducted interviews with 70 employers, initially across five priority sectors, to explore in more depth the reasons for sectoral difference, and the likely impact of age discrimination legislation.

The Age Dimension of Employment Practices

Aims The Department of Trade and Industry commissioned this work from CROW in advance of drafting legislation to outlaw age discrimination.

The aim was to establish:

• how aware managers, younger and older workers and trades unionists are of age discrimination and the implications of the pending legislation, at a range of levels;

• how important they think it is;

• how far current practices are supportive of an age diverse workforce;

• how far current practices are consistent with the proposed legislation;

• how far they are amenable to change.


A report for the Department of Trade and Industry, to inform the development of the Age Discrimination Legislation, and support to employers in preparing for it. Methodology

The project began with a literature review, and consultative interviews with a range of national agencies, to establish the issues likely to be problematic for employers.

It then undertook in depth case studies of 14 firms, selected to cover a variety of:

• occupational sectors,

• firm sizes,

• previous commitment to age diversity

• local labour market conditions

Consultancy support for the project was provided to CROW by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and the Employers Forum on Age.

Age Discrimination: Effects of Education and Gender


To understand how age discrimination at work is experienced by people over 50 and how this experience differs by gender and previous educational experience. To understand the broader factors that affect older workers ability and desire to continue working. To find out the kinds of change to the organisation of work which might make working longer more attractive, and how far these might be feasible for, or attractive to, employers.


A report detailing:

Older peoples’ perceptions of age discrimination and the barriers encountered when seeking to enter, or maintain their employability within, the labour market. The views of differing groups of older people on how paid employment might be made more attractive to people over 50. Advice on ways in which employers can practically reduce age discrimination and make better use of older people.


The project was in four phases:

a literature review to map what is already known about the relationship between gender, qualification and labour market engagement in later life; 39 semi-structured qualitative interviews with a sample of working men and women aged between 50-69 drawn from the sample identified through the omnibus survey. Interviewees were in a variety of kinds of employment and sector and had a wide range of educational qualifications.

The aims of this phase are: 1) to establish the influence that a person’s biography has on their experience of age discrimination, and 2) to discover what working practices they think would make work more accessible and attractive. focus groups with employers to discuss the ideas raised in the interviews and develop a survey instrument an online survey of employers to investigate how far they would consider the kinds of change proposed in the qualitative interviews.

The findings of both phases of the research are to be combined into a report for publication in Autumn 2006.

The 2003 National Omnibus survey

Relatively little is known about how far the labour market is different for older people, although a few facts are clear:

the trend to earlier retirement appears to have halted. employer investment in employee training declines with age. employer discrimination on grounds of age is common.

To increase knowledge of the older labour market (broadly for people over 50), and to provide a baseline for further research, CROW’s first piece of work was a national survey of the population, to examine work transitions (changing employers, changing roles, moving to part-time or self-employment etc.). It looked at the causes and outcomes of change, the extent of support which people have for change, and their attitudes to work after formal retirement.

The study analysed data on 5500 individuals, collected through questions added to the Omnibus Survey carried out monthly by the Office of National Statistics, 1600 of the sample were in the 50-69 age range. The data on job change was analysed in relation to a wide range of factors, including nature of employment, social class, marital status, educational background, general health, income and social class.