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The 2008 AARP International Innovative Employer Awards

The top non-U.S.-based employers for age 50+ workers.

Welcome to the 2008 AARP International Innovative Employer Awards.
These awards are intended to recognize non-U.S.-based employers who have demonstrated innovative workforce or human resource practices that address issues relevant to workers age 50 and older.
At a time when the percentage of workers age 25 to 44 is declining, older adults are a more important component of the global workforce than ever before—a fact that select employers are recognizing and implementing policies to address. By recognizing employers around the world that have demonstrated innovative efforts to address issues relevant to older workers, AARP encourages all employers to create a mutually beneficial environment that values the potential of younger and mature workers alike.
Several collaborating organizations with expertise on age and employment issues, from around the globe, joined AARP in promoting and designing this award including: TAEN–The Age and Employment Network (United Kingdom); The Gerontology Institute at Dortmund University (Germany); Council for Third Age (Singapore); National Trades Union Congress (Singapore); the Singapore National Employers Federation (Singapore); and NIKKEI (Japan).

2008 Winners


Agewell–Sandwell Primary Care Trust

West Bromwich, United Kingdom
Public Hospital/Health care
1,269 employees. 24 Percent Age 50+

As a group working to strengthen the voice of people age 50+, Agewell connects older people with other voluntary and community-sector groups. As part of their initiatives, the Midlife Future Planning program is available to all employees to consider the changes they will face in later life. Flexibility in work arrangements is a priority, so that staff can find the appropriate work/life balance. In addition, Agewell has no mandatory retirement policies.
Alexandra Hospital
Public Hospital/Health care
1,606 employees. 14 Percent Age 50+

Alexandra Hospital initiated several programs to promote lifelong learning and wellness among older workers. WOW, “Wellness for Older Workers,” is a program that serves to empower mature workers with the skills, knowledge, and attitude to take charge of their health and lifestyle. The hospital has also implemented a series of workplace redesigns to make work less physically strenuous on its aging workforce.
BT Group plc
London, United Kingdom
108,505 employees. 29 Percent Age 50+

BT offers a wide variety of flexible work arrangements through its “Achieving the Balance” portfolio. These arrangements  help older employees make the transition from full-time employment to retirement. The Career Life Planning Tool, another innovative BT program, helps employees develop their careers at every stage and accounts for changes that may emerge during employment.
Centrica plc
Windsor, United Kingdom
29,069 employees. 13 Percent Age 50+

Centrica strives to create an age-diverse workforce through many measures. Two such tactics include an Age Action Group, which convenes managers from across business units to create a detailed action plan addressing the company’s aging workforce. Centrica also has an Age Awareness e-learning package for managers and employees to raise awareness about age-diversity issues. The company also supports work-life balance through comprehensive, flexible work policies and a caregivers’ network.
Deutsche Bahn AG
Berlin, Germany
Transportation Services
192,887 employees. 35 Percent Age 50+

Deutsche Bahn has taken a proactive approach to mitigating the effects of demographic change through ten special human resources initiatives and programs. One such initiative, DB Experience, focuses on preserving and enhancing the employability of older employees through qualification-building and advanced training. This is accomplished through seminars that promote the value of older workers and a balanced composition of work teams by age, to ensure appropriate knowledge transfer and intergenerational cooperation.
Domestic & General Group PLC

Nottingham, United Kingdom
712 employees. 9 Percent Age 50+

Domestic & General Group Limited sought to attract and retain older workers for their experience, loyalty, and reliability by implementing a number of age-positive recruitment strategies. Materials for recruitment and assessment were tailored to resonate with various generations.
Telephone interviews have been used in the first stage of the hiring process to avoid age bias.
Employees at Domestic & General Group Limited are also encouraged to become Age Positive Ambassadors, some of whom represent the company at recruitment fairs.

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