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Valuable contribution by older people recognised but employers still reluctant to hire them

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The majority of UK professionals believe older workers make a valuable contribution to UK businesses but despite this, many struggle to find new employment, a report has found.

The study from CV-Library found that 92.2 per cent of workers believe older workers make a valuable contribution to UK businesses, 76.6 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent) of 55-64 year olds considering age to be a hindrance.

The job site conducted research amongst a cross-section of more than 2,400 UK employees aged between 18-70+ to ascertain how they felt about mature professionals in the workplace.

Feedback from respondents 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).

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments: “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.

“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.”