A survey carried out by Dr Lynda Shaw has revealed that 66% of people believe that age alone could be a barrier for getting a job, suggesting that negative opinions surrounding age still exist in the workplace.

The study, conducted to discover more about people’s attitudes to ageing in the workplace, found that 46% of respondents feel the over 60s are the least important age group in the work environment, while 27% voted those in their 40s as the most important.

In regards to why employing people over 60 would be considered an issue by so many, 61% claimed that the biggest downside was that they would be slower to learn new skills, while over half felt that people over 60 would be more adverse to operational changes.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Shaw, said:

“Over 60s are bursting with knowledge and experience. This needs to be embraced, enhanced and utilised.

“Businesses can really benefit from an age diverse workplace, mixing the new ideas and knowledge of younger workers with the experience and expertise of older workers.

“Older employees might be slower to learn, but they are incredibly eager to try new things and develop. If employees spent some training time older as well as younger cohorts, they would reap a greater return for their investment.”

The survey also showed that 69% of respondents felt that the biggest asset employees over the age of 60 would bring would be their work ethic, with 65% saying that employees from the older age group would work harder than people in their 30s.