Scotland has the lowest birth rate in the UK and an ageing demographic. Dealing with the concerns of this demographic is not optional for public, third sector and private organisations across Scotland. Not only do we need to focus on tailoring services for their specific needs, Scotland as an economy also need to look at employing and retraining older workers appreciating the skillsets and experience which they bring to the workplace.

The Herald and GenAnalytics will be focussing on this at the inaugural EngAGE Conference in association with The Scottish Government, which will take place on Thursday, May 23 at Glasgow Caledonian University.

90,000 people in Scotland work across the digital economy which contributes £5.9bn (4%) GVA to the economy. Although this is hugely positive, an additional 13,000 new entrants per year are needed. There is no reason why older people could not make up some of that shortfall – particularly as there is more commercial incentive to design products and services for that age group.

Maggie Morrison, Client Partner at NTT Data who will be speaking at the event has said: ““Technology has an important role to play in helping to keep older people engaged in society, fit and mentally active as well as easing the burden on our NHS by enabling people to live in their own homes for longer. This could either be technology which helps manage conditions at home, predicts problems such as falls or monitors activity.”

The Scottish Government are supporting the event as part of their Older People’s Framework “A Fairer Scotland for Older People – a Framework for Action”.

Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie, who is also speaking at the event said:

“Older people contribute hugely to our economy and society so it is in everyone’s interest that we have a positive attitude to ageing, and the Festival Of Ageing will do just that.

“It will bring together business, public sector and third sector organisations to showcase the opportunities and benefits from our older workforce and population.

“Crucially, this event is not only for people working in these sectors. There is a free public exhibition providing a variety of sources of advice and product demonstrations as well as cultural performances.”

Joining both Maggie and Christina McKelvie will be Professor Dawn Skelton, who is Professor of Ageing and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University, she has said:

“Through our work at the Ageing Well research group at Glasgow Caledonian University we have found the best way of improving health and reducing loneliness and social isolation is to help older people to be more engaged in their community and lead more active lives. I’ll be sharing how this increases self-esteem and the ability to self-manage conditions, enabling people to live more independent lives and reducing pressure on the health service.

I’m looking forward to the EngAGE conference because the real benefits for our older population’s health will only come through working together and joining up a whole range of initiatives at a community level. This event is a timely contribution to this debate.”

The conference is FREE to attend however you must register to secure your place at the conference. Our exhibition is open to members of the public and doesn’t require any pre-registration.

To secure your place, register today by visiting or contact Kirsty Loughlin on 0141 302 6016.