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Work Flexibly & Liberate Talent!. Employment and Age Works! Regional Conference - 5 th February 2008 Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. Workshop Introduction: ‘Liberating Talent through Flexible Working’ Peter Connor Chair, Northwest Flexible Working Group

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Employment and age works regional conference 5 th february 2008 aintree racecourse liverpool l.jpg
Employment and Age Works!Regional Conference - 5th February 2008Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool

Workshop Introduction:

‘Liberating Talent through Flexible Working’

Peter Connor

Chair, Northwest Flexible Working Group

BT Regional Manager North West England

[email protected]


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The Flexible Working Revolution

  • Advances in technology (broadband, internet, email, virtual private networks)are making flexible working a very real option for people all over the UK

  • Flexible Working describes all kinds of employment that differ from the traditional 9-5 full-time job

  • It is not just about flexibility in the location of work, but also in timing and the balancing of home and work commitments (can embrace home working, remote working on the move, café society, etc)


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Benefits of Flexible Working

  • Liberating Talent …..including the over 50’s!

  • Maximising Inclusion and being home to an altogether happier and healthier workforce who enjoy the freedom that comes with working in a more flexible way

  • Increased Productivity as employees avoid daily commutes and ‘get more done’ from a home office or being on the move, improved staff recruitment and retention

  • Reduced Overheads for companies that deploy flexible working as they save on office costs and absenteeism

  • Environmental Improvements - less traffic congestion


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Sharing best practicein the North West

The Northwest Flexible Working Group Vision :

“To create social and economic prosperity – and contribute to tackling climate change – by increasing opportunity through flexible working”

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Northwest FlexibleWorking Group


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Northwest FlexibleWorking Group

  • Launched in January 2007

  • Powerful gathering of public, private sector and academic employers working in partnership for the Northwest

  • Objective to share, promote and encourage innovation in flexible working practices


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Northwest FlexibleWorking Group

  • National links with groups including Work Wise UK and the Smart Work Network

  • Championing the Northwest as a leading region in this modern way of working


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Achievements in first year

  • Events

    • Flexible Work Symposium, March ’07

    • Flexible Work Event, Liverpool, Nov ’07

    • Presentations to trade groups/conferences

    • Meetings with Ministers (Tony Blair, Beverley Hughes)

  • Publications

    • Flexible Working in England’s Northwest

  • Research

    • Findings from NWBLT research sub-group

  • Profile

    • National profile in speeches/reports & coverage in Entrepreneur, NW Insider, 315 degrees


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Next steps

  • Work with NW and sub-regional partners to develop innovative, replicable projects

  • Projects aimed at encouraging flexible working in:

    • large businesses

    • small businesses

    • Local Authorities

    • local, sub-regional, NW communities


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Flexible Working & the over 50’s

  • The Northwest Flexible Working Group will continue to champion benefits including for over 50’s

  • Flexible working is a key tool in:

    - attracting older people back into the workplace

    - providing retention opportunities for those who want to work but don't want to be committed to the same level of attendance, etc

    - stimulating, enabling and supporting new business formation


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The Demand for Flexible Working

  • The Demand for working beyond 65 looks set to increase markedly in the next 15 years, according to the research ‘Future demand for working among older workers’ from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

  • Based on a survey of 1,000 workers aged between 50 and 64 years, it finds that just under two fifths (38%) of individuals plan to carry on working beyond 65. Of those who do not plan to work past 65, 31% would change their mind if their employer allowed them to work flexibly


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UK Skills and Flexible Working

  • The National UK Skills Task Force says that the decline in people aged 15-24 entering the job market will create a shortfall of 2.1 million employees

  • The Government has set a target of getting an additional 1 million workers, over the age of 50, into work

  • Research shows that 35% of people not working could be encouraged back into work if more flexible working opportunities were available

    source: Enter the Timelords, Equality & Opportunities Commission


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Home Business and the NW

  • The Northwest is recognised as the region showing the fastest growth in home business start-ups in the Home Business Report

    (compiled by Enterprise Nation

    and commissioned by BT)

  • Particular growth is coming from the over 50’s leaving the corporate world for the freedom of self-employed ‘portfolio’ working


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New Forms of Flexible Working

  • The Northwest Flexible Working Group is exploring partnership opportunities for ‘homeshoring’ projects in the region that would offer the potential for bringing the over 50’s into employment, working as call handling agents, from their homes or suitable centres in local communities



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