The ageing population – a lived experience
Rob Stevenson, who works for Age UK CIoS as well as co-leading Beach Guardian, tells us about the ageing population from the perspective of his own lived experience:-
“As you get older, your health situation can get more complicated. So can your family responsibilities.
You might have a lot of skills and experience to offer an employer, but you might not have all the hours to give. You might not be an average 9-5 employee. The UK has an estimated labour force shortage of 3 million. Certain industry sectors that are central to Cornwall’s economy, such as the hospitality and social care sector, have really big skills gaps.
That means there ARE jobs, but not enough skilled applicants to fill them. That should be good news for everyone looking for a job, but it’s not working out evenly.
The employment rate for people with disabilities (52.3% employment rate, Q4 2020) compared to people without disabilities (81.1%) points to a large, persistent disability employment gap (28.8%, down from 33.7% in Q4 2013).
Not everyone HAS to work. It’s just about opportunity for those who want it, and not overlooking or throwing away valuable skills and contributions we could be making.
In my own life, the work I do gives me flexibility with childcare, and the opportunities to engage with our community at weekends or evenings. I am able to do what needs doing at the best times to do it. The money I earn pays for my shared equity house – we shouldn’t assume that all older people own their own properties in a place like Cornwall.”