Employers practising age discrimination by failing to hire experienced staff could be missing out on adding huge value to their business, according to a recruitment services and training provider.

JobMatch, an employment initiative operating in the Heads of the Valleys, has said that falling numbers of young people and older staff remaining healthy longer means that many employers need to change their attitude towards age.

In around six months, the Equality Act comes into effect in the UK, with employers, industry experts and the Government agreeing that old-fashioned attitudes towards older workers must change.

According to Steve Dobson, performance and communications manager at JobMatch, age discrimination is prevalent amongst employers in Wales.

He said: “A diverse workforce adds value to a businesses bottom line. At JobMatch, many of the jobseekers that come to us are in their 50s or above, many of whom still have years of hard work to offer a potential employer and obviously a huge wealth of experience, both on a professional level and with personal characteristics. Despite this, at JobMatch, we often face reluctance from potential employers to even consider taking on someone over the age of 50.

“Many older workers have a number of common traits that can benefit a business, from punctuality to organisational skills, confidence and maturity to communication skills.

“Obviously younger workers can demonstrate these qualities too, but they learn these skills from their bosses and peers, which is why employing older role models is a great business move for a company looking to develop its workforce. It is a win-win situation – for customers, staff and the business.”