83% of jobseekers over the age of 60 believe they have been rejected for a job because of their age, according to new research from leading UK jobs website totaljobs.com. Also, nearly three quarters (73%) of those aged 51-60 think they’ve been knocked back from a job due to their age.
57% of over 60 year olds have been unemployed for more than 6 months, which is nearly twice the number of 25-34 year olds out of work (30%) for this length of time. Of this group, 20% of out of work senior professionals have been unemployed for at least two years.
Nearly half (46%) of senior jobseekers (aged 51 plus) have applied for over 50 jobs in the last six months, with two thirds only receiving 5 or fewer responses from employers. This is despite more than 90% feeling their skill set is relevant for the jobs they are applying for.
Over 80% of jobseekers who are 51 years old and over have kept their date of birth off their CV on purpose, with 90% saying they think their age makes it harder to get a job.
In response to the findings, John Salt, Director at totaljobs.com, said: “It’s alarming that so many senior jobseekers feel that they are at a disadvantage because of their age. In the UK it’s against the law to discriminate against people based on their age. Despite this, many employers don’t realise that age discrimination is illegal, just as it is for gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability or race.
Older jobseeker can bring years of experience to the workplace, benefiting UK employers. Many employers have witnessed firsthand just how beneficial it can be to have employees from all different levels of experience – in fact, McDonald’s has a 20% higher performance in outlets that employ workers aged over 60 as well as younger workers.”
70% of older jobseekers (aged 51 plus) say that the jobs crisis is focussed too much on young jobseekers. Reasons include the common assumption by people that the jobs crisis doesn’t affect experienced jobseekers (60%), and the belief that the Government only sets up schemes to support young people (43%).