Bournemouth University lecturer Ken Brown featured on BBC Breakfast recently, discussing attitudes to an aging population.
The law lecturer appeared as part of the Living Longer series, which has been examining the implications of a population where 50 per cent of people will be over 50 in the next ten to fifteen years.
This week, the Big Lottery Fund awarded a £50m, ten-year endowment to the Centre for Ageing Better, while the Government Office of Science is conducting a three-year review into the aging population.
Guests were keen to re-focus public debate which has, up until now, centred on the negative aspects of aging. Ken appeared on the sofa alongside Professor Harper of the Oxford Institute of Ageing to discuss what older people contributed to the workplace, who agreed that the option of working past retirement was great, but required a shift in attitudes.
Brown, 82, was asked about his working life; after completing a thirty-five year career as a policeman he was invited by the then Dorset Institute of Education to teach law. He has been at Bournemouth University ever since.
“That was in 1990. It has been wonderful for me” Ken said, “I love being with the students.
“I teach fourth-years and they are ready to go out into the workplace having been out there already; they are fantastic. It’s a wonderful place to be, it’s very forward-thinking is Bournemouth.”
Prof Harper argued that HR and the physical working environment in particular need to be modernised in order to enable people to work beyond retirement, particularly a mixed-aged workforce was more productive.
People past retirement age have a lot to offer, particularly with regards to knowledge and expertise. “One of the things that I (ironically) teach is media law: defamation, contempt, and all of those things. I don’t think about retirement. I’ve got a lot of anecdotal material that I can give them [students], on any topic!” added Brown.
Ken appeared on Tuesday 13th January’s edition of BBC Breakfast.