Jeremy Hunt didn’t need his Kichener style message to urge older people back to work, writes Dorothy Byrne, president of Murray Edwards College, in a Guardian opinion piece. She tells the Chancellor “the desperate state of the economy you oversee” is already driving them back into the jobs market. “The prejudice against older workers is an outrage”. If people are fit, still have their marbles and have something to offer, they should be welcomed into the workplace. A former head of news and current affairs at Channel 4, she was 69 when she took on the college role. She could stay in the job after 70 because the late Queen, on 16 February last year, agreed to change the college statutes. “I like to think as a working woman of 95 who also declined to retire, she reached out the hand of friendship to another older female worker. Of course, I realise it was unlikely to have been the Queen herself who made the decision, but a good decision it was. Sadly, she has gone now so royal intervention won’t solve the problem of the UK’s missing workers. That will be fixed only when the prejudices and barriers older workers face are overturned.”

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