Extending working lives: retirement decisions, barriers to work and motivations for working longer among the over 50s
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This is an inter-disciplinary, mixed method research study which is concerned with issues around extending working lives and in this context seeks to (i) explore ways of increasing employment participation rates among older people aged 50 and over and (ii) increase understanding of the predispositions and interventions that influence older people’s decisions to work for longer and retire.
Raising employment rates among older people is expected to achieve an improvement in their income in later life, enable them to increase their engagement in society and reduce the potential burden on younger cohorts of an ageing society. In relation to the last of these, relatively low employment participation rates of older people are unsustainable given population ageing in the UK and elsewhere and the related pension crisis. However, the relationship between age and work is complex and requires investigation. One issue is that the constraints on leisure time imposed by participation in work are likely to impact negatively on welbeing; some older people may value their leisure time and their time with their family and friends more highly than time in work. These issues will be investigated as part of the wider study of the engagement of older people in employment and the factors that enable and constrain such participation.
The overall aims of this study are to use quantitative and qualitative research methods to investigate some or all of the following:
1) Examine issues around work and wellbeing amongst older people in the UK and other countries where populations are ageing.
2) Identify and explore, barriers and enablers to participation in employment by people 50 and over.
3) Explore decision making about retirement and the meaning of retirement, taking into account differences around gender, socioeconomic statuus, region and country.
4) Examine issues around health, activity and employment among older people
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The University of Birmingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) is one of 21 across the UK that has been accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). These awards are available to UK/EU students; they cover tuition fees at UK/EU rates, plus a maintenance stipend (of around £13,590). For 2013 we were able to offer 14 ESRC scholarships to fund postgraduate training and doctoral research. The deadline for applications was 4pm, Monday 28 January 2013. The 2014 competition is not yet open; please check back later in the year for more details. Full details are available here: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/students/support/dr/esrc-dtc/index.aspx
Porcellato, L., Carmichael, F., Hulme, C., Ingham, B. and Prashar, A. 2010. Giving older workers a voice: constraints on the employment of older people in the North West, Work Employment and Society, 25:1
How good is research at University of Birmingham in Business and Management Studies?
FTE Category A staff submitted: 53.10
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