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Program “Second Wind” Vice-president of the EATUOU Armen Avetisyan took part

As part of the series of programs “Second Wind”, the Public Radio of Armenia organized a discussion on the issue of employment of the elderly, in which the Chairman of the Trade Union Organization of YSU, Vice-president of the EATUOU Armen Avetisyan took part.

October 29, 2022

In the field of social protection of the elderly, the state encourages the employment of persons aged 65 and older: “Maximum extension of the working life of older people, increasing their competitiveness in the labor market are important factors affecting their quality of life,” says Anahit Gevorgyan, an expert on older people, who is an employee of the Department of Equal Opportunities of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia.

According to her, in this matter, our country is guided by the regional strategy of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging, one of the ten key points of which concerns the elimination of age discrimination. Gohar Khachatryan, advocate for the interests of the charitable organization “Mission Armenia”, noted that the initiatives are being implemented within the framework of the social entrepreneurship program, which also includes older people.

In the film “European Union Solidarity Program for the Eastern Partnership countries in relation to COVID-19”, produced jointly with the organization “The Man in Need”, older people talk about their work experience, how they feel while working, what changes realization of work opportunities in their lives bring. In addition, within the framework of the program, it is planned to discuss the problems that older people face in the labor market with the participation of representatives of interested agencies. An attempt will be made to find legislative loopholes that keep older people out of the labor market.

“Speaking about the rights to work of older people and ensuring equal opportunities, we do not oppose this to the employment of young people,” G. Khachatryan emphasizes. Anahit Gevorgyan noted that the level of employment of older people in our country today is unsatisfactory. Only 12% of the 372,000 retirees are registered workers. For comparison, we should note that in developed countries this figure is 40-50%. Armen Avetisyan, Chairman of the Branch Republican Union of Trade Union Organizations of Armenian Universities, Vice-President of the Eurasian Association of Trade Union Organizations of Universities (EATUOU), presenting the situation in the university sector, noted that in addition to solving social problems, most professors simply cannot imagine their life without this work.

“It is wrong to be guided by the age principle and say that if a person is 65 years old, he/she should not work. It is necessary to be guided by the principle of whether a person is able to enter the classroom and convey to the younger generation his knowledge. If he has such an opportunity, then dismissing him from work only because of his age is shameful, to put it mildly, this is already discrimination,” A. Avetisyan is sure. In cases where a professor cannot deliver a lecture due to his age, he can still continue his activities at the chair as a researcher, becoming the supervisor of scientific work for one or more students.

“It should be added that we have young lecturers 40-45 years old, who, figuratively speaking, are already over 90, because they come to the university and deliver lecture from paper, and some elderly professors are able to conduct an interactive lesson,” added A. Avetisyan, drawing some parallels. When asked about the qualities of those older tutors who are asked by colleagues and management to continue their activities even after retirement, A. Gevorkyan explains by her own example that such employees are also carriers of institutional memory.

“For example, I remember all the legal acts developed and discussed in this area in our ministry since 1992, and this is the foundation on which we must continue to build the future,” concludes A. Gevorkyan, quoting the words of a famous geriatrician: old age is very problematic, but wisdom and experience are a factor of time, and this is precisely the advantage of older people.

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