Survey from Jobrapido finds age discrimination at play.

An age for work.

Research from search engine Jobrapido has found age discrimination is cited the top obstacle to getting back into employment. The report surveyed 2,027 people in the UK who are currently not in education, employment or training for work but had previously worked in management, executive, administrative or manual labour positions. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) believe the biggest obstacle/reason to getting a new job is their age and that the role they apply for is given to a younger candidate.

Whilst nine per cent of the respondents stated that poor health had prevented them from getting a job, a further 11 per cent admitted they can’t seem to find the right job to apply for, 11 per cent revealed they keep going for interviews and not getting the job, six per cent admitted they have lost their confidence and six per cent are still confused about the job they want. The remainder are using the time out to change careers and are thinking about taking a vocational course, consider their next role as well as travel or look at setting up their own business.

Nearly a third (30 per cent) have not been in employment between 3-12 months, 9 per cent have been out of work 1-2 years, 6 per cent 3-5 years with a further 21 per cent out of work for more than 5 years. One of the main factors for this sustained length (5 years) is to poor health.

When asked what could help to change their circumstances, more than a fifth (21 per cent) of respondents believe that they need more guidance about what job would be relevant for them.

  • 18 per cent would like advice about how to improve their interview technique or embark on careers counselling so they feel more confident about getting their next job.
  • 17 per cent would like advice on how to improve their CV
  • 14 per cent would like better feedback after their interview so they can learn from their mistakes
  • Among other answers received, some respondents have told they would like advice on courses or training so they can build up their skill-base.

Biggest challenges to getting a job in their industry

  • Nearly a third (32 per cent) believe the skills needed are very different from when they first started out
  • 29 per cent believe the market is too competitive and the jobs tend to go to people in-house before they are published externally
  • 14 per cent believe that the development of technology has meant some jobs are now redundant
  • Others believe there is not enough information available on training for new skills or there are less jobs around than there were five years ago

“In spite of the progress of UK employment law and measures to mitigate against the risk of discrimination, it is clear that some companies are not giving candidates a fair ‘playing field’,” commented Rob Brouwer, CEO of Jobrapido. “It is disappointing that so many of those trying to get a job believe that age counts against them when their experience should be seen as an asset. HR departments should be scrutinising their equality policies and ensuring that all applicants, regardless of age, are given a detailed breakdown of why they were unsuccessful. Transparency is crucial.

“A considerable number of those not currently employed admit their confidence has taken a tumble and do not believe they can or will get a job in the future,” he added. “However, on the one hand, it is important to be prepared for an interview when they meet a prospective employer.

“But on the other hand, clearly, there is a strong call to action for those working in the recruitment industry and to employers and HR professionals to look at ways they could support and help those trying to get employment. This could include running CV workshops, career counselling session, a masterclass on interview techniques, how to answer challenging questions or guidance as what jobs might be suitable for their existing skills.”

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