Berkshire

Living Longer: Berkshire among best for over 50s jobs

Four council areas in Berkshire are among the best for employing people aged over 50, a study commissioned by the BBC has found.

Wokingham was third best in England and Wales with 48% of over 50s employed.

Sixth was Bracknell Forest with 46.5%, eighth was West Berkshire with 46.1% and tenth was Windsor and Maidenhead with 45.7% employed.

The research by Experian looked at how areas would be affected by a rise in the ageing population.

Slough was rated 45th with 40.9% of people over-50 employed, while Reading was ranked 69 out of 204 councils with 39.3%.

'Underlying reasons'

Employing the highest percentage of over 50s was the London borough of Hounslow with 49.9%, while Neath Port Talbot came bottom with just 26.7% working.

Richard Stowell, director of Age UK Berkshire, welcomed the findings.

"There may be underlying reasons meaning that more older workers are available for employment in these areas compared to more mixed areas," he added.

However, Mr Stowell said a downside to the success could be the ability of younger people being able to afford to live in the areas.

Mike Wooldridge, development and improvement team manager at Wokingham Borough Council, agreed that younger people were not buying houses in the area because it was expensive to live in.

"I don't think we have an unusually high older population but we do have a lot of older people that are still working," he said.

"It's probably to do with the contribution older people make to their community and to the work place, it's very much valued and they bring quite a wealth of experience to their roles.

"They can be very dedicated personnel, very reliable and would like to remain in their employment for many years."

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