NI first with anti-ageism award for Banbridge and Craigavon Trust

Craigavon and Banbridge Trust staff are celebrating after becoming the first Trust in NI to become a champion in the fight against workplace ageism.

The organisation is the most recent addition to the ranks of over 100 Age Positive ‘Employer Champions’, which are organisations who have demonstrated solid commitment to age diversity, and was praised by the campaign for its dedication to the cause.

Glenn Houston, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “The Trust is delighted to receive this recognition as an Age Positive Employer Champion for the work it is doing to promote age diversity within its workforce.

“As a Trust we are committed to promoting Equality of Opportunity. We believe in developing the skills of all staff irrespective of age and are seeking to encourage younger employees into the workplace as well as actively seeking to retain the investment we have made in long standing members of staff by encouraging them to work beyond the age of 65 - our 65 Plus Policy has been launched in recognition of this.”

Age Positive Northern Ireland aims to emphasise to employers the benefits of employing a mixed age workforce in preparation for legislation in 2006 which will outlaw age discrimination in the workplace.

According to studies, ageism is now believed to be the most common form of workplace discrimination with more than 70% of people in NI aged between 50-59 believing their employers treat them less favourably because of their age.

Kieran Donaghy, Director of Human Resources commented: “Young and old people bring a diverse range of perspectives premised on their own experiences, talents and abilities all of which add to the richness of the organisation.

He said that having a diverse workforce that reflects the local population makes good business sense.

"It sends a strong message to staff and public alike that the Trust is committed to equality and as such staff will be treated fairly and equitably regardless of personal characteristics, in this instance age," he added.


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