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April meant Happy 55th Birthday to me! 
As I celebrate this milestone, I lift a glass in celebration to the millions of others who are part of the 50 plus workforce. The 50 plus workforce is an increasingly important demographic in today's economy, as people are living and working longer than ever before. Despite this, there are still many myths and stereotypes surrounding older workers, such as that they are less productive or less capable than younger workers. However, research has shown that the 50 plus workforce can be a valuable asset to any organisation. 
One of the biggest challenges faced by older workers is ageism in the workplace. Ageism is discrimination against someone based on their age, and it can take many forms, from subtle biases to overt discrimination. This can lead to older workers being passed over for promotions, or even being forced out of their jobs. However, there are ways to combat ageism, such as education and awareness programs, as well as legal protections for older workers.. Don't let me get started on Women over 50 and Menopause in the workplace! That's a whole other article! 
Despite these challenges, the 50 plus workforce can bring many benefits to organisations. For one, they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. They have often worked in their field for many years, and have a deep understanding of their industry. They also tend to have strong interpersonal skills, as they have had many years to develop their communication and leadership abilities. 
Another benefit of the 50 plus workforce is that they tend to be more reliable and consistent than younger workers. They are often more stable in their personal lives, which can translate to greater stability in the workplace. They also tend to have lower rates of absenteeism and turnover, which can save organisations money in the long run. 
Despite these benefits, many employers still overlook the 50 plus workforce. This is a mistake, as there is currently a skills and talent shortage in many industries. According to recent data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), there are currently over 1 million open vacancies in the UK alone. This presents a significant opportunity for older workers, who are often highly skilled and experienced. 
One of the most common myths about engaging the over 50's is that they are less willing or able to learn new skills. However, research has shown that this is not the case. In fact, older workers often have a strong desire to continue learning and developing their skills, as they recognise the importance of staying up-to-date in their field. They may also be more motivated to learn new skills, as they are aware that they may face ageism in the workplace if they do not keep their skills current. 
In short, the 50 plus workforce is a valuable talent pool that should not be overlooked. They bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and skills to the workplace, and can be highly motivated and reliable employees. While ageism remains a challenge, there are ways to combat it, and organisations that make a concerted effort to engage and support their older workers will reap the benefits. They can hugely benefit your business and your teams but you need to be attractive to entice them in!  
Finally, as someone who is thoroughly enjoying their 50's, I can attest to the fact that 50's are the new 40's! Age is just a number, and many people are continuing to work and contribute to society well into their 60's and beyond. So, if you are a member of the 50 plus workforce, know that your skills and experience are valuable, and that you have much to offer the world. Happy Birthday, and here's to many more years of health, happiness, and success! 
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