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International innovation competition seeking bright new ideas responding to an ageing workforce

The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC), supported by the Innovation Resource Center for Human Resources (IRC4HR), has today launched an international competition to identify and award the most promising innovations responding to an ageing workforce across four key challenge areas:

  • Maintaining good physical and mental health 
  • Building knowledge, skills, and competence 
  • Addressing discrimination and supporting diversity in the workplace 
  • Adapting the workplace for flexibility 

Research by ILC, the UK’s specialist think tank on the impact of longevity on society, has found that across the G20, 1 in 3 workers is aged 50 and over, and in the next 20 years, this is set to increase to 4 in 10. Alongside other changes, such as the role of technology and AI in the workplace, this will radically transform workplaces in the not-so-distant future.  

ILC are seeking input from industry leaders, employers, start-ups, policy experts, academics and community organisations to find new and innovative solutions to these challenges and help unlock the potential of an ageing workforce and age diversity in the workplace.  

The competition launched today as part of International HR Day will be open for applications from around the world until 1 September 2021, with a final awards ceremony due to take place in early 2022. An expert panel of judges will assess applications, bringing in insight from the private sector, policymaking, and research.  

Details of how to apply are available from: Work for tomorrow: Innovating for an ageing workforce – ILCUK

Lily Parsey, Global Policy and Influencing Manager at ILC said:

“Longer working lives, alongside other trends such as the growing role of tech and AI, are going to fundamentally reshape the workplace of the not-so-distant future. It’s time for employers to adapt in line with these changes.”

“There has undoubtedly been lots of innovation out there, and among all the devastation it has caused, the pandemic has acted as a further catalyst for new ideas.”

“We’re very excited to be launching “Work for tomorrow” to showcase and platform the best innovations in this space and spark a conversation about what needs to happen next as we embark on the future of work.”

Jodi Starkman, Executive Director of Innovation Resource Center for Human Resources (IRC4HR) said:

“From flexible work arrangements to rapid digital transformation to an increased focus on employee wellbeing, the global pandemic has demonstrated that when we challenge our assumptions and beliefs about what is possible – and we apply technology and modify policy to address a diverse set of human needs – the result can be a more inclusive, human-centred work experience for everyone.”

“An innovation competition is a creative and scalable vehicle for identifying solutions and changing the narrative around how to create age-inclusive work environments that enable all members of the workforce to thrive. We are excited to be supporting ILC in this important work.”

Bob Morton, President of the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA), and Work for tomorrow judge, said:

“WFPMA is pleased to join the distinguished judges panel for this important competition. Meeting the challenges of the Future of Work in a post pandemic world requires innovative and systemic approaches to create and adapt new working practices utilising both human and digital capabilities. This competition provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate people practices that ensure work benefits individuals, businesses, economies and society.”

Mehbs Remtulla, Founder and CEO of What’s neXT?!, and Work for tomorrow judge said:

“I’m delighted to be part of this illustrious group of judges and commend the ILC and IRC4HR for their collaboration in staging this wonderful global innovation competition.”

“The narrative around ageing is misguided, society sees this stage of life as a period of decline, where it is a period of opportunity. The structures and networks we build in our working years do not work anymore, and it is hard to create new ones at this stage of life. We seem to lack the tool and resources to help us through this transition. There is no planned playbook for this period of life.”

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