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BEWARE … ageing public sector workforce

by on May 6, 2014

With the headline warning us to BEWARE, the CIPD report an interview Louise Tibbert, the new president of the Public sector People Managers’ Association (PPMA) in which it is suggested that she “fears talent pipeline will suffer as proportion of over-60s increases“.  Tibbert cites research by the Institute of Fiscal Studies suggesting that age diversity is a particular issue in the public sector compared to private sector workplaces.

However our concern is about whether we need to sound such a strong linguistic warning in discussing issues of age at work?  While the piece goes on to caveat concerns about older workers (with oft cited contributions of “experience and insight”) the opportunity to open up the debate about age at work is somewhat lost.  Instead it seems that the debate becomes one in which older and younger workers (seen as talent) are presented as in competition and with clear demarcations presented as to their areas of contribution.  Such reporting reinforces stereotypes about age at work rather than open these up to scrutiny and debate.

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