Strong evidence of the age discrimination in many workplaces has been released. Age UK’s survey has found that 2 out of 5 people over 50 have been unemployed for over a year and three-quarters of these are men.
The report showing that many of the people who have been unemployed for over 12 months are aged over 50. The government’s recent announcement to raise the compulsory age of retirement is therefore an irrelevant policy change for many older workers who don’t make it to anything like official retirement age before being put on the working scrap heap.
It seems that regardless of how your body and mind function and how successful you are at doing your job, that once your birthday has been round 50 plus times that people start to see you in a different light. Amy Medows Head of the Forster AGEncy asks “Why it is that chronological age has such an impact on the way in which employers view their employees?”
“You can replace old with young when there are skilled motivated young people available. But there are fewer and fewer of those around, And we’ve all heard, and many of us have seen the consequences, of a skewed education system that see young people entering the job market with too few of the basic skills that are needed by today’s employers. So the business imperative to ensure that older people stay within the workforce is here to stay.”
Amy Meadows believes that “there are excellent examples of employers who recognise the advantages of both recruiting and/or retaining older workers”. For example B&Q who recognize that it is important that the staffs know what they are selling and are able to offer sound advice.
“Managers need to see mature workers as an asset and not a liability. The vast majority of people over 50 have acquired considerable experience over their working life that enables them to bring knowledge and skills to their work.”
If you’re a HR Manager and you want to take a new look and old age then come and speak to us at Forster AGEncy. We can share a wealth of positive examples and help ensure your company is age positive.