Older workers struggling to find new employment this National Older People’s Day

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Almost all UK professionals (92%) believe that older workers make a valuable contribution to their organisation and yet people as young as 45 are struggling to find new employment because of their age, new research from CV-Library this week shows.

The job site’s study of 2,400 UK employees over the age of 18 found that although 76.6 percent think mature workers bring a breadth of experience and knowledge to an organisation that can’t be matched by younger recruits, almost half (46%) of 55-64 year olds said they found age to be a hindrance to finding a new job.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library said:

“Age is a sensitive subject for many but it should never be an obstacle in the workplace. It’s reassuring to see that UK professionals understand the valuable contribution older workers make to UK businesses, but it’s not enough if age discrimination still exists in the recruitment process.”

While almost half of respondents (48.5%) said they define “older workers” as those over the age of 60, people in their early forties reported finding it difficult to “start again” in a new position, suggesting a disconnect between public perception and practical hiring choices for businesses.

Biggins added:

“Hearing that someone in their 30s feels too old to start a new career is extremely worrying. Staff are excited about working with talented professionals, regardless of age, and businesses need to listen to this feedback. Age discrimination in the workplace or the recruitment process is unacceptable and it’s time to break down barriers for older workers looking for jobs.”

The research was conducted ahead of National Older People’s Day (Thursday 1st October).

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3 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. part of this is driven by technology, and rest is simply cost.

    1 – automated CV scanning rejects people with long career histories – so simply leaving your DOB / age off your CV makes no difference, and, recruiters never see the CV’s

    2 – the assumption is that only “young people” understand modern technology

    3 – experience and skills cost more money to hire

  2. Add to James’ list the completely dysfunctional “beauty contest” process used by some employers whereby e.g. users of a service, or other non-responsible people, are used to sit in and make judgements about who they would favour in a role. If you are ‘older’, deign to show too much intelligence/knowhow, challenge prejudiced thinking, then you will not pass through these so-called recruitment processes.

  3. One tip I used when applying for jobs as an older applicant was to include on my CV my jobs, experience and skills gained over the last 10 to 15 years and then list highlights, (relevant experience etc) from earlier employment under a generic heading of “prior to 19xx”. If asked for education details I simply stated these in terms of “from age 11 to age 18” rather than giving the actual dates.

    It is not all negative. I was recruited to my present job (a part-time professional role which I was seeking) in a not-for-profit organisation 4 years ago at the age of 65!

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