Set against the background of longer later life , we need to develop new patterns of working. The idea of working full-time flat-out and then…………..you suddenly come to a FULL STOP! For many unlucky people you stop dead literally, within a few years of retiring.
Previously retirement age was 60 for women and 65 for men and an inadequate state pension was supposed to support you for the rest of your life. If you were lucky, a cradle-to-grave employer looked after you with a company final salary pension, but for all bar the public sector, this paternalistic approach of employers has disappeared and been replaced by a scrap heap mentality.
Now that is all changing, driven by economic necessity rather than any sense of benevolence. The former cliff-edge of statutory retirement age has been abolished. The universal state pension is being put back until 67 and maybe even 70 eventually. In the name of equality, women’s pensions are being deferred to be brought in line with men. The problem now is that other social structures haven’t changed to reflect the newly available army of older workers. There are only so many lollypop lady jobs out there !
We require a new , more positive attitude to work in later life. Part-time rather than full-time and using the valuable skills acquired in a lifetime of employment. We also need new types of jobs to be created and a more flexible approach to job sharing.
- A job sharing team of grannies and granddads could provide a child-minding service for working parents; not necessarily just their own grandchildren;
- A lot of grannie and grandad teaching assistants could provide one to one support for young school children, that would guarantee they can read and write before they move out of primary school;
- For older children, their “grandparent” helpers could provide a stand-in additional parent for single parent families, who could focus on developing life skills – cooking, housekeeping, budgeting,handyman. In return the youngsters could teach computing skills to the older generation.