Just back this week from a fascinating visit to Finland.
This trip, with Judith Jackson (middle of picture on left) of the GFTU, was aimed at securing the partnership of the Workers' Academy (Kari Kinnuen, Principal, on left of picture) and public sector union JHL in a European partnership project with other partners in Malta, Holland and France.
The aim of this partnership is to transfer the highly successful work of the GFTU in enabling older workers to gain financial security in retirement through a mixture of measures including support to re-train and stay within the labour market as well as providing education to enable workers to properly understand the pension schemes to which they make contributions and calculate payments based on contributions.
The project will seek funding from the EU's Leonardo Lifelong Learning programme under its Transfer of Innovation initiative. All being well work will start in October 2009. All partner countries have identified a traditional pattern of unemployment of workers 55+ arising from redundancy and workplace change. This is now being exarcerbated by the global economic downturn and the project hopes to provide much-needed support to these workers.
Despite the introduction of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations trade unions are are still reporting on cases of discrimination against older workers. It would be useful to know of your experience in this area and of whether in your workplace forms of discrimination still occur around age.