The United Nations Commission for Social Development held its 61st Session in New York from 6th to 15th February. Mr Vassili Louziotis from AGE Greek organisation 50+ Hellas participated in one of the side events on “Intergenerational Dialogue and participation as a tool to create full and productive employment and decent work for all, overcome inequalities and achieve SDGs by 2030”.
In his speech, he highlighted two clearly contradicting societal trends : on the one hand, the need to increase the participation of older people in the labour market, and, on the other hand, the persisting age discrimination and age prejudices that hinder their participation, leading to many older persons feeling isolated, useless, and to an increased burden to pension funds.
To address that, our Greek member calls for building a large-scale system that values the qualities of all workers and provides training to all. At national level, governments will need to adapt existing frameworks to promote more diversity and inclusiveness in employment, training, remuneration and pensions, and provide incentives to embrace these schemes.
All parties will benefit from age inclusive workplaces: younger and older workers, but also employers, as studies show that age diversity in the workplace increased productivity: people are learning and are influenced by one another, often without a formal training program. And the states will benefit from reduced unemployment and pressure on pension funds.
For Mr Louziotis, however, the biggest challenge will be “to overcome long-held stereotypes of either older or younger workers, and get all employee subgroups to work together”.
In short, we urgently need to fight ageism!