Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Older workers still face job hunting challenges despite age neutral unemployment figures

Commenting on the latest employment statistics, Chris Ball, Chief Executive of TAEN - The Age and Employment Network, says:

"The continuing rise in unemployment shows how much employers and employees are suffering. The ‘good news,’ if one can use that expression in such dismal circumstances, is that the trajectory of job losses in the 50 plus age bracket is not carrying the same dramatically skewed dip as it has done in previous recessions. Employers may have learned the lessons of the past when they encouraged older workers to retire only to find their organisations starved of skill and know-how.

It seems likely too that age discrimination law is deterring the victimisation of older workers for redundancy. This shows that, flawed though the legislation is in other respects, it is proving beneficial. At this point the recession is more age neutral than in the past.

The very bad news for older workers is that once out of work they are finding it nearly twice as hard to regain employment as workers in the prime age cohort, 25-34. Finding new jobs always needs a fair wind from employers who don’t discriminate. Unfortunately, age discrimination at the point of job selection is endemic, as our surveys have shown.

So, even if 50 plus workers are not being dropped overboard soonest as companies run onto the economic sandbanks, the fact that they are swimming in stronger currents will mean more drown with the wrecks of the recession, unless we can be more proactive in getting them back into work." TAEN are doing a splendid job of attacking this outrageous remaining bastion of age discrimination.

No comments: