Over 45’s now being classed as old @DefraStats

According to DEFRA (the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) statistics Twitter account highlighted in a Rural Services Network website newsletter (29.06.2016), over 45s are now being classed as “old”.

There surely is some perverse irony in this suggestion when the Government has removed the statutory retirement age and is progressively increasing State Retirement Age to 68 years of age and “old-uns” will be required to work for another 23 years before they can draw their state pension.

The irony continues when one also considers that the vast majority, if not all public sector institutions seem to categorise everyone over the age of 50 as being old; most often represented by an image of a grey haired lady, undoubtedly in their 70’s and perhaps in their 80’s sat in a chair with a uniformed smiling Care Worker stood behind them. Is this really a realistic and accurate portrayal of 45 or 50 year olds, would “The System” ever sit a FTSE100 CEO or a senior Government Minister in that same chair and place a Care Worker behind them, did Iain Duncan Smith (62) or Vince Cable (72) need a Care Worker to help them when in Office? Of course not. They would not and they did not.

Should this concept that over 45s is officially “old” be correct and indeed realistic, then with the average age of Members of Parliament being 49, the average age of FTSE100 CEO’s being 53.3 years with the overall average of the FTSE100 Boards being 57.7 years of age and the FTSE250 Boards only a couple of years younger, even the youngest FTSE100 CEO at 39 years of age is only 6 years away from being officially old, then evidentially the Multi-£trillion world economy is being entrusted to a group of “old people”.

Over 45s! What is this definition of “old” really about?

Collins Dictionary defines “old as being having lived or existed for a relatively long time ⇒ an old man, ⇒ an old tradition, ⇒ old wine, ⇒ an old house, ⇒ an old country or of or relating to advanced years or a long life ⇒ old age – is this really how people of 45 or 50 or 55 or 60 should actually be considered to be? Of course not, they possess a vast wealth of knowledge, experience, confidence and resilience, many are physically active and can physically, mentally and intellectually out-work their own grown-up children.

“The institutionalised System” collectively suggests that old / older people need help and support to live their lives or age healthily but in absolute contradiction to that, the simple reality is that 50, if not 60 is the new 40, if not younger; and far from being old, they are agile, they are knowledgeable, they are independent, they possess vast experience and knowledge, they enjoy life to the full and are rarely phased by any challenge.

The worlds most powerful economies, Governments and major business and financial institutions all rely on what are deemed to be “old” people over 45 to manage multi-£trillion economies and here, close to home, the most powerful person in Europe – Angela Merkel and political head of the most valuable and powerful economy in Europe and manufacturing powerhouse of the same is officially “Old”. Angela Merkel was born in 1954 and is 61 years of age, nearly twenty years older than what now appears to be the UK definition of “Old” but if we pause and think for just a moment, the entire political and financial world now watches on with baited breath and in hope, anticipation and absolute need that Angela Merkel’s exceptional political astuteness, immense international reputation and personal gravitas and personal stature can safely steer the world and I mean the entire world through Britain’s Brexit, not bad at all for an “old-un”.

Many suggest that “old” people do not understand technology

Many suggest that “old” people do not understand technology, indeed Esther McVey as a one time Employment Minister spoke on prime time TV about introducing dedicated courses for the over 50’s, such as “How to turn a computer on” – let us be absolutely clear at this point, Esther Mcvey was ill informed, exceptionally naive and fundamentally disconnected with reality. Those who are in their 50’s and 60’s today are singularly the demographic that introduced “change” as a widespread working concept to the UK and far from being in need of any dedicated training on how to turn a computer on, the over 50’s and into their 60’s are the generation that transitioned UK business from large-scale mainframe computer systems firstly to desk-top, then to laptop and then that old bloke called Bill Gates introduced tablet computers.

This generation also introduced digital mobile communications; robotic manufacturing, CAD design, JIT, LEAN, ERP, 6 SIGMA, PRINCE, ITIL, globalised economies, supply chain management and procurement, distribution and logistics and most of the technology behind modern technological warfare, satellites, space flight and many others. Where “The Cloud” is seemingly the latest must have in business technological advance, the “old” people are quite familiar with remote access servers, data-centres, BIG data, remote content delivery, customer behaviour profiling and know full well, that “The Cloud” is no more than remote access servers sitting in various rooms around the world firmly placed on terra firma and accessed through high speed, wide bandwidth internet.

Oh yes, I almost forgot – the “old-uns”, Steve Jobs (AKA Mr Apple) was 56 when he died in 2011 having revolutionised the world of mobile technology and the “old-uns” managed to safely steer the world through the millennium bug!

And finally, the old-uns also invented and developed that most amazing of life-critical support mechanisms – the internet!

Why is it then that over 45s are now considered to be old and ageism is prevalent in the jobs market?


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