Older job applicants are being advised to disguise O-levels on their CV because they may suffer age discrimination for holding old-style qualifications.
Ros Altmann, the government’s tsar for older workers, said there were cases of older people altering their job applications after suffering “constant rejection”.
O-levels, widely regarded as the gold standard in secondary level qualifications, were scrapped in 1987 and replaced with GCSEs the following year, meaning the youngest O-level cohort is now 43 or 44.
Holders of the predominantly examination-based O-levels have remained untainted by suggestions of grade inflation which have so badly damaged the reputation of GCSEs.
But the O-level generation is now finding themselves at a disadvantage as they enter their mid-forties.
“There are ‘CV skills’ courses which suggest to older people looking for jobs that they call their O-levels GCSEs [because] O-levels equals ‘old’,” Miss Altmann told the Sunday Times.
“I don’t condone telling outright lies, of course, but if you are having to face this kind of unfairness then maybe one needs to look to play the game.
“This generation will want to be scrupulously honest and if they are asked questions wouldn’t dream of missing information out deliberately. This honesty counts against them.”
Miss Altmann is an economist and pensions expert who was made the Coalition's business champion for older workers in July last year to boost the number of over-50s in work.
She said many employers would weed out applications from older people even though they are not allowed to demand an applicant’s date of birth.
However, earlier career histories and the date or type of qualifications listed on a CV provided an easy way for some employers to calculate an applicant’s age.
Older applicants facing age discrimination have been advised to include modern technological aspects to their CVs such as file-sharing links and video clips in a bid to disguise their true age.
Article from The Telegraph