Centre for Ageing Better calls on recruiters to get older workers in jobs

As a new report reveals 3.6m 50-64-year-olds are out of work, independent charitable foundation the Centre for Ageing Better has highlighted three key ways recruiters can help cut the unemployment rate of older workers.

The recommendations follow a report, released by the Centre this morning, highlighting the scale of unemployment among over 50s and the issues they encounter in getting back into the work.

In light of these issues the Centre is calling on recruiters to:

  • Keep a positive attitude to recruiting older candidates, who often bring with them a lifetime of skills and experience, with older jobseekers the Centre worked with in Greater Manchester sometimes perceiving they weren’t put forward for roles simply because of their age
  • Ensure they translate older candidates’ skills and experience into available jobs – some older workers might have a range of experience, which makes them sufficiently qualified and able to excel in a role, but a lack of formal qualifications might mean they get overlooked
  • Work with employers to ensure roles are flexible and suitable for all age groups – and advertised as so – using language that is positive and inclusive

The Centre’s research was based on work with people aged over 50 in Greater Manchester, drawing on six months research by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) – in partnership with the Learning & Work Institute – in five areas of the city. Some of the key findings include:

  • Around a third of 50-64-year-olds in the UK are not in work – equivalent to some 3.6m people.
  • The economic inactivity rate among 50-64-year-olds is above 27% –more than double that of 35-49-year-olds (13%).
  • Around 1m of these people left work involuntarily due to issues including ill health, caring responsibilities or redundancy.
  • Once they have left the workplace, older jobseekers struggle to get back into the labour market. Around 38% of unemployed over 50s have been out of work for over a year, twice the percentage of 18-24-year-olds.
  • Employment support on offer to this age group is currently not working with just 16% of over 50s referred to the government’s Work Programme successfully supported into a job – a worse results than for any other group, irrespective of gender, ethnicity or disability.

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