Centre for Research into the Older Workforce (CROW)

CROW was established to support employers in adapting their human resource management policies and practices to adapt to ageing demographics.

Through research for the UK government, European Commission, Trades Union Congress and CIPD, the centre has investigated older workers’ career aspirations and retirement plans; social policies which impact on career trajectories; and bespoke age management approaches of businesses across sectors and countries.

Matt Flynn
Faculty of Business, Law and Politics
Professor Matt Flynn
Director the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce

The Challenge

Through our research, we have helped employers across a range of sectors and countries to support employers in managing ageing workforces, enabling older workers to pursue meaningful jobs, and creating career paths for younger ones. Recent projects include:


  • The age management guide for the UK social partners: TUC and CIPD
  • A good practice guide for small and medium sized businesses
  • An online tool to support employers and unions to discuss workplace active ageing
  • Research on the experiences of people who leave the Armed Forces after the age of 50 in finding work which makes use of their skills and experiences.

The Approach

We have worked with employers (e.g. NHS, local education authorities and large and small businesses), unions, government and stakeholder organisations in investigating innovative approaches to age and work. We have:


  • Run workshops with employers and union representatives on age management
  • Spoken with older workers about their career and work aspirations
  • Developed good practice guides in collaboration with stakeholder organisations and government


  • To investigate and identify career aspirations and retirement expectations of older workers
  • To identify good practice in age management of businesses across sectors and countries
  • To help reconcile competing interests of workers and businesses as well as between older and younger workers within the context of ageing workforces



Active Ageing through Social Partnership and Industrial Relations in Europe

European Commission

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'A Day in the Life of the NHS'

NHS Working Longer Review Group Call for Evidence

NHS Employers

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Career Transitions of Service Leavers after the Age of 50

Officers Association

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Transition from Work to Retirement: Extended or Precarious Working Lives?

Our theme for this seminar was the growing precarity of older workers’ employment. In Guy Standing’s book The Precariat: The Dangerous New Class, the author argues that older people are increasingly joining the ‘precariat’, by taking low-level jobs to supplement dwindling pension incomes.

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Research and Policy Issues on Active Ageing and Employment in Later Life

Our Older Workers Research Seminars broke new ground by visiting the University of Sheffield, where Professor Alan Walker and colleagues have ploughed deep furrows of research into age management and public policy, over nearly three decades.

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Hull University Open Day - Saturday 5th October 2019-279 - parents chatting



You can find our publications on the CROW Website.