Recent reports have revealed that UK unemployment levels are dropping, which in itself is a positive step for the country’s job market. However, what fails to be highlighted is the number of job seekers who are aged 50 plus, that are continually struggling to find work. Lik most job seekers, these individuals are applying for an estimated 15 jobs per weeks, and it’s feared their age is putting employers off; they are likely to want younger candidates with the aim of them sticking with the company.
Older job seekers are concerned that prospective employers will be put off by their age. Companies aren’t allowed to not hire someone because of their age, but what’s to say they won’t use another reason to hide the truth? The UK has over 400,000 unemployed over 50’s, which in comparison to the number of younger people unemployed (1 million!), it is relatively small. However, it is more likely that the older generation will remain unemployed for longer periods of time, which is just as damaging to thee economy, not to mention their own self-esteem.
Many of the jobs advertised are aimed at younger applicants, such as schools leavers and graduates. These jobs are classed as junior roles and would not suit older applicants. The salaries on offer for these types of roles are simply not liveable on, with a mortgage to pay, children to feed amongst other costs. Many job seekers are looking for alternative methods of work, and learning to set up their own business working for themselves. For some long term unemployed job seekers of the older generation, filling out endless job applications only to be constantly rejected, just doesn’t seem beneficial to their career not to mention their own motivation levels.
Prince Charles set up Prime, a charity to help older people who are struggling to find work. It offers free skills training to unemployed over 50’s, and has worked with over 25,000 people. Recent news reports tend to focus on the issues with youth unemployment, however, unemployment for over 50’s is a serious economic problem causing a financial strain on families. Nearly half of unemployed over 50’s have been jobless for over a year.
The country still has an issue with age discrimination, even if organisations aren’t openly using this reason to not hire an applicant. The constant knock backs only diminish jobseekers confidence, motivation and self-esteem. Being long term unemployed can result in serious health consequences, and the longer someone is out of work the harder it is to get back into a job.
Something needs to be done; let’s hope the government addresses the issues at hand, and hopefully the future will start to look a bit brighter for jobseekers over 50.