Skip navigation
The Progressive Policy Think Tank

The End of Retirement?

An aging population and squeezed public finances are forcing us to rethink our approach to work. As our working lives get longer, people are rejecting established stereotypes of what they can and should do at fifty, sixty or seventy. Employers who take a positive approach to employing and retaining older workers can benefit from taking a fresh look at age in their workforce.

Changes in the world of work will transform retirement as we know it

  • Do we face the end of retirement as we know it – with people potentially working more flexibly 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 tackling the UK's ageing population.

By 2045 nearly a quarter of the UK’s population will be aged 65 or above. In 2015, more than one in ten of that age group were still in work. In light of our changing workforce, leading North East business and public sector leaders are coming together to set out how employers can adapt.

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:

  • Hans Mollar – Innovation Director, North East Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Dr David Levy – Regional Lead, NHS England
  • Prof Sarah Harper – Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing
  • Gordon Sheret – Managing Director, Cities and Communities, Engie UK.
  • Helen Dickinson – Assistant Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council
  • Patrick Melia – Chief Executive, North Tyneside Council

Please register your place here. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to Maeve at or on 0161 694 9683.