A fast-growing South Wales fintech start-up is backing a Welsh Government campaign to encourage more businesses to retain, retrain and recruit older workers in order to create a successful multigenerational workforce.

Newport-based W2 Global Data is supporting ‘People Don’t Have a ‘Best Before’ Date’, which is challenging age discrimination in recruitment, and equipping business owners with the tools they need to build an all age workforce.

The campaign is also encouraging SMEs and larger firms to recruit, retain and retrain older workers, as by 2022 one in three people of working age in Wales will be over the age of 50.

Data shows that the number of workers in Wales aged over 50 has risen by 24.8 per cent between 2006 and 2016, while the number of younger workers has fallen - 16 to 24-year-olds by 10.1 per cent, and 25 to 49-year-olds by three per cent over the same period.

W2 Global Data, based at Clarence House, Newport, provides identity verification services to help prevent fraud and money laundering, working with more than 100 clients globally, from online retailers to payment providers.

The number of staff there has doubled since the start of the year, with more than 40 people on the payroll.

Gary Pine, chief product officer, said: “As we continue to look for people who want to grow with the company we remain a dynamic, perpetual start-up. We want people who will roll their sleeves up and get stuck in, and age has no bearing on that, whatsoever.

“Short, tall, old or young really doesn’t matter to us.

“I’m interested in whether they’ll be a good cultural fit for the company. What empowers them? Can they build instant rapport with someone? None of that has anything to do with age.”

Nicky Vaksdal, 51, joined as a business development manager in March.

The mum of two children (aged 31 and 16, and a five-year-old granddaughter) says she has never experienced ageism at work.

She said: “I’ve always worked with start-ups. I like the challenge of being part of a smaller business, watching it grow and adding value. I feel young. Age is an old-fashioned idea and the people I work with simply don’t consider it a factor.

“I might be old-school in some ways (I still print out the odd email) but I’m digitally engaged and full of ideas. Fintech is a diverse and exciting industry and every day I work alongside people in their 20s and people in their 60s.

“I have more confidence than I did when I was younger but there are no negatives to ageing, when it comes to work.”

Gary, who is 50 himself, said: “Fresh, young minds are wonderful but it’s equally important to employ people with experiences as they’ll link those ideas.

“They know what works and what doesn’t - some of the most creative people I know weren’t born that way - it came from life experience.”

People Don't Have A Best Before Date, part of the Welsh Government's Age of Investment drive to ensure Wales has the skills it needs to compete in the global marketplace, points out the critical importance of older workers to businesses.