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    Communication and Education


    CPC aims to participate in the ESRC Festival of Social Science on an annual basis. In 2019, we developed a workshop for schools 'The generation game: Is it fair?'. The aim of this project was to devise an interactive workshop where young people could take the lead on formulating solutions and thinking about bringing the generations together.

    How can we tackle the increasing 'unfairness' opening up between generations in the UK? There is a perception that young people today have fewer opportunities and economic benefits than previous generations. At the same time, society is ageing, and people are working longer and retiring later.

    The workshop uses the 2019 report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision on 'Tackling intergenerational unfairness' (25 April 2019) as a basis to explore CPC research and young people's views. Professor Jane Falkingham OBE, Director of CPC, was Specialist Adviser to the Committee and a core component of CPC research is 'Exchange between the generations'.

    The media has so far tended to focus on the report's effects on pensioners, so we were interested to hear from young people. We took the opportunity of being part of the 2019 ESRC Festival of Social Science to design and launch this project. In the debut session, year 10 students from a local school took part in interactive tasks and heard from CPC researchers on the different aspects of intergenerational exchange.

    The event allows discussion on how which generation you are born into can affect your life. It also allows participants to consider the importance of working across generations to bridge divides and foster relationships that can benefit everyone, young and old.

    The talks from CPC researchers complement two group work sessions. Workshop participants are split into teams to try our generation game, testing their knowledge of generation categories and characteristics. Will they know which generation the famous faces belong to?

    Then after they have heard from the researchers, attendees work in groups to take on the roles of managers, policy-makers, pensions analysts etc. to solve a real-world 'problem' around who they should help, services available, where funds should go and why. CPC early career researchers help each group to think through and discuss the issues and come up with solutions and ideas. Questions and debate amongst the wider group is encouraged.

    Main topics include: young people and housing, starting a family, getting married, cohabitation; living longer and changes to working lives; the economics of longer lives; encouraging support between generations rather than creating conflict; and so on.

    Through this workshop, we hope young people will be encouraged to discuss the research and its implications for them, their communities and society as a whole. Do they think there is a divide? How does it affect their own lives? How would they tackle the issues?

    Publications & Activities

    Tackling intergenerational unfairness
    London, Authority of the House of Lords (2019).
    Authors: Of-Lords H,