Lets start here: Age discrimination is unlawful in the UK. However resorting to the law certainly won't help even if policing this situation were a viable option.
That said how can we improve the way older people are perceived when it comes to finding work? I say "we" because even if you aren't staring at those 50+ years yet, you will be one day. So its up to all of us to change the way we both think about and treat older people.
Now lets be positive. Unlike many products of modern society people do not have a 'use by' date but what they do have is experience, knowledge and wisdom.
OK older citizens may not be fresh out of university, (though some are), but what they do have is transferable skills and disciplines which enables them to harness their talents and experience with those of the freshly hatched graduate or skilled worker. When you partner the young rocket powered newcomer with the senior experienced peddle pusher, two and two makes five or maybe even six.
We have to do something for a number of reasons. Firstly the population as a whole is getting older and secondly there is a need for everyone to work longer.
Thanks to that wonderfully inept combination of government and bankers, pension pots have been diluted, there is a need to work longer on a full time basis and possible to continue to work perhaps part time to supplement an inadequate pension.
So we know the problem and, whilst most recognise and value the worth of the older worker, what is the downside?
Well actually there isn't one! Despite any comments you may have heard about health problems, reliability, getting tired, not being efficient and all the other nebulous excuses, in reality the 50+ age group stands alongside younger workers and even in some areas excels.
So HR managers, recruitment professionals indeed anyone who is looking to hire, give these people a chance.
Perhaps in addition to leaving the date of birth off the application form we should begin interviews wearing a blindfold for at least the first ten minutes....would that work?
Article from Working Lives, Thinking Recruitment.