A new survey suggests Britain may underperform economically if older workers are marginalised. Image courtesy of: sxc.hu
Some 93 percent of jobseekers aged over 50 feel the Government is ignoring the problem of over 50s unemployment, according to new research conducted by skilledpeople.com
, the online service that matches older experienced candidates with companies seeking skilled staff.
In a survey of 702 registered candidates, skilledpeople.com found that respondents believe the problem of youth unemployment is being exaggerated and addressed at the expense of the over 50s who are being expected to work longer before retirement. As a result Britain’s economic growth will be slower for many years to come
than if the entire nation’s experience was properly harnessed, the site claims.
The number of people aged 50 to 64 who are economically inactive is 3.53m, compared to 1.72m for 18 to 24 year olds.
Additionally, over three quarters (80.3 percent) of those surveyed feel that during their job search they have been discriminated against because of their age. This supports the conclusion earlier this year of the Department of Work and Pensions
(DWP) that age-related discrimination and stereotyping remain “rooted in British society.” (‘Attitude to Age in Britain'
report, January 2012).
Commenting on the research, skilledpeople.com managing director Keith Simpson said: “We see a constant flood of CVs from exceptionally well qualified people seeking new opportunities who are under-employed for one reason only – they are aged over 50.
“We are appalled that respondents feel they have been victims of ageism. It’s extremely short-sighted of employers to discriminate on age grounds
. Over 50s require little or no training, making them productive workers from the outset. If a company hires a quality experienced person to support business growth it’s more likely that they will be hiring an additional youngster after few months than the reverse.”
To encourage small businesses to take advantage of the skills that older jobseekers have to offer, skilledpeople.com plans to create a collection of exceptional people who have agreed to work on short term consultancy-style projects for very low rates to prove their worth. It’s calling these people the ‘Silver Bullets.’
Ros Altmann, Saga
Director-General, commented: "Skilledpeople.com is an exciting project. It is so vital to help older people who lose their jobs to get back into the labour market as they have so much to offer."