October 6, 2015
While the majority of UK professionals believe older workers make a valuable contribution to UK businesses, many struggle to find new employment, a report has found. The study from CV-Library found that 92.2 percent of workers believe older workers make a valuable contribution to UK businesses, 76.6 percent of staff believe that older workers bring years of experience and knowledge to an organisation that can’t be found in a younger worker and 92.7 percent of workers believe the mature staff should still be able to excel in the workplace. Yet although they received an overwhelming sense of respect from the UK workforce, it seems that the same regard for older workers is not echoed by employers. When asked to explain key issues on age in relation to work, seeking new employment was the most common concern, with almost half (46 percent) of 55-64 year olds considering age to be a hindrance.
Feedback from respondents to research amongst a cross-section of over 2,400 UK employees aged between 18-70+ included: “I’m 60, and despite years of experience in all aspects of office administration, I cannot even get a job as a filing clerk. I have got six years before I can retire! Why can’t I get a job? I’m not going to drop dead at my desk (I hope).” (Judy, 55-64, North West). The reason I have been turned down for just about all the jobs I have applied for is because of my age.” (Pete, 55-64, North West) and “Permanent positions are hard to find for people over 55 even though they have experience and skills that can help companies.” (Matthew, 55-64, East Anglia).
The research also found that almost half of professionals (48.5 percent) only consider someone to be an older worker once they are 60+ yet workers in their 40s had also felt overlooked by the jobs market.
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library commented: “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.
“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,” concluded Biggins.