Older workers still facing jobs discrimination

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Many workers aged 55 to 64 feel their age has counted against them when applying for jobs, a new survey has found.

According to recent research from Total Jobs 63% of those aged 55 to 64 felt their age had counted against them when applying for jobs.  As few as only 6% saw their age as an advantage when applying for work.

age-discrimination

At the other end of the spectrum far fewer felt they experienced discrimination due to the younger age.  Of those aged 16 to 24, 33% said their age counted against them.  That figure fell to 21% among 25 to 34 year olds.

Total Jobs polled more than 4,000 job seekers in August.  Their research suggests that age discrimination, whether conscious or unconscious, still exists and is still an issue affecting many job seekers.  Older generations bring with them a wealth of experience, skill and knowledge and employers have a huge amount to gain by recognising that.

A report by the CIPD revealed that valuing older workers is more important than ever for businesses and that a ‘demographic time bomb means employers must act to avoid a cliff-edge loss of skills and talents by 2035′.

There are currently 9.4 million workers in the UK today who are over the age of 50.  The report reveals that the UK could face serious skills shortages over the next 20 years if employers don’t change their approach to workforce planning, as our population ages and demand for certain services rises.

The report goes on to reveal that unless organisations start improving how they recruit, develop and retain older workers it is estimated that the UK economy will struggle to fill one million jobs by 2035.  Even when taking into account the mitigating effect of migrant workers.  Employers need to recognise the value that older workers can bring to their organisation when recruiting new staff members.  They should continue to invest in training and development at the various stages of their career and strategically plan how they can transfer older workers knowledge to other parts of the business when they do eventually retire.

Another recommendation from the report is that it is increasingly in employers’ best interests to think about how they can support the health and well-being of their staff.  Also to provide flexible working opportunities to allow gradual transitions into retirement if the business is able to support this.

We work closely with our clients and candidates to ensure a diverse recruitment process.   Evidence suggests that more and more employers are keeping people employed longer and are offering enhanced health and well-being benefits and flexibility in order to lengthen service and strengthen the workforce.

More work needs to be done however during the recruitment stage.  Older workers who are unemployed find it difficult to gain work and companies should look at revising the recruiting process in order to attract a highly skilled, diverse, reliable and knowledgeable workforce.

Contact a member of the team today if you would like to know more about our diversity in recruitment strategy.

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