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IPPR - The end of retirement? Line-up confirmed for conference on North East ageing crisis

Changes in the world of work will transform retirement as we know it – free conference to help North East businesses prepare for “the age of no retirement” by turning the crisis into a flexible working opportunity.

  • Do we face the end of retirement as we know it – with people working more flexibly, potentially indefinitely?
  • What does this mean in the North East with its older workforce, especially as Brexit means we can’t rely on younger migrant workers?
  • And how does this work for physically-demanding jobs like construction?
  • The full line-up is unveiled for a conference aimed at helping businesses tackle the North East’s looming ageing population crisis. Sign-up here.

By 2045, nearly a quarter of the UK’s population will be aged 65 or above, and this is likely to even higher in the North East.

Leading North East business and public sector leaders will set out how employers can turn this crisis into an opportunity: through discussions, networking and workshops, attendees will have the opportunity to learn from experts and each other on how to meet the challenges.

Targeted sessions will be on offer for sectors that will be especially affected – including construction, health and the public sector, as well as small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Attendees will hear how innovative approaches to health in the workplace, like flexible working, training and new technologies, can help businesses and individuals to adapt to new kinds of career path.

And the conference will explore how businesses and local government can work together to pool resources and improve access to work for everyone.

Most importantly, it will look at how planning for longer working lives needs to start early – it’s not just an ‘old people’s issue’ but something for all.

The “Extending Working Lives” one-day conference takes place on Wednesday 10 May from 10am at the CastleGate, Melbourne Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2JQ.

Tickets are free but places are highly limited – interested individuals and organisations can sign-up to attend here or by visiting

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Anna Round – North East Senior Research Fellow, IPPR North
  • Dr David Levy – Regional Lead, NHS England
  • Richard Baker – Head of Strategy and Policy, North East Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Prof Sarah Harper – Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing
  • Gordon Sheret – Managing Director, Cities and Communities, Engie UK.

Anna Round, senior research fellow for the North East at IPPR North, said:

“The best employers are preparing for tomorrow by investing today in the opportunities and challenges of an ageing workforce.

“Access to work isn't equal among older people, and it's harder for some companies to make it so. Factors like the physical or emotional demands of work, or the size and finances of employers mean that opportunities to continue work into later life are distributed unevenly between people.

“Our conference will give north east employers a real understanding of how our region is changing and how they can adapt their business plans to meet this challenge.”

Gordon Sheret, Managing Director for Cities and Communities at Engie UK, said:

“As a major North East employer, at Engie we’re taking the lead in investing today to adapt to tomorrow’s workforce. But we need much wider change from local and central government, the third sector, other employers and from the workforce themselves.

“We’re looking forward to sharing our experiences at the conference and offering North East organisations the chance to hear from real experts, take part in workshops and network with like-minded businesses.”


Ash Singleton,, 07887 422 789.


IPPR North is the dedicated think-tank for the North of England, with offices in Newcastle and Manchester.

The full URL for the conference sign-up page is:

The conference is a collaboration between IPPR North and Engie, North Tyneside Council, Newcastle City Council and Northumbria Council. The conference will showcase research by IPPR North and explore what individual businesses, employers, employees and local authorities can do in the face of these challenges.

Delegates will be invited to contribute to discussions, sharing their unique knowledge of their sector and taking insights from back to inform policy within their workplaces.

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