Jenkins, Andrew Kevin (2008) Work matters for “older” hotel employees in the UK and Ireland: perceptions of workplace equality. In: International Labour Process Conference 2008, 18th - 20th March 2008, University College Dublin, Ireland. (Unpublished)

The UK and Irish populations are ageing and projections suggest a considerable growth in the
number of older people in both of these countries over the next 25 years. Population ageing will
invariably affect hotel workplaces which have traditionally relied on younger workers. A focus on older workers’ accounts of employment in contemporary hotel workplaces is important as little is known about the attitudes, experiences and aspirations of older workers. In order to address this
gap in knowledge, twenty three interviews with older employees aged fifty and above were
conducted, eleven in the ROI and twelve in the UK. Findings from the interviews revealed that all
older workers felt they were treated the same in terms of access to training in the workplace.
Nevertheless, many older workers who were interviewed mentioned a lack of Information
Technology skills as a barrier to promotion and this may represent a challenge to the future
prospects of older workers. There was evidence to suggest that certain jobs, especially
housekeeping, were age-typed as typically belonging to “younger workers” and departmental job
segmentation was evident in that certain departments were composed of jobs deemed to be more
suitable for a person of a certain age.

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