Age discrimination blamed as biggest obstacle for getting back into employment

Age discrimination blamed as biggest obstacle for getting back into employment

Jobrapido research reveals strong call to action for recruitment industry, HRs and business owners to give better guidance to those out of work; offer careers counselling, advice on CVs, interview technique and feedback after interviews.

The Equality Act says “it’s only unlawful discrimination if you’re treated unfairly because of certain reasons. These reasons are called protected characteristics. Age is one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act”. People can suffer from age discrimination at the workplace when they are treated unfairly because of their age individually or as a part of a specific age group. As a matter of fact, age discrimination is unlawful at every stage of any employment practice, including the phase of job announcement creation (job description and requirements), during all work interviews, in salaries definition, job tasks distribution, work results assessment, disciplinary policies, benefits assignments, and, finally, in employment termination decisions.

According to the latest research by Jobrapido, the world’s leading job search engine, age discrimination is cited as the top obstacle to getting back into employment. The research involved 2,027 people in the UK who are currently not in education, employment or training for work and had previously worked in management, executive, administrative or manual labour positions. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) believe the biggest obstacle/reason for getting a new job is their age and that the role they apply for is given to a younger candidate.

Whilst a fifth (9%) of the survey respondents stated that poor health had prevented them from getting a job, a further 11% admitted they can’t seem to find the right job to apply for, 11% revealed they keep going for interviews and not getting the job, 6% admitted they have lost their confidence and 6% 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%) have not been in employment between 3-12 months, 9% have been out of work 1-2 years, 6% 3-5 years with a further 21% out of work for more than 5 years. One of the main factors for this sustained length (5 years) is due to poor health.

Call to action for recruitment industry, business owners and HR executives

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

  • 17% would like advice on how to improve their CV
  • 14% would like better feedback after their interview so they can learn from their mistakes
  • 18% 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. 
  • Others would like advice on courses or training so they can build up their skill-base.

Research also reveals sizeable minority (4 in 10) are not preparing enough/at all ahead of interviews

55% said they read articles, research the company and look up details about the person interviewing them and a further 4% tried to connect with someone ahead of the organisation – however nearly a quarter (23%) said they just had a quick look at the website, 11% admitted they did not know how or what to prepare and 7% did nothing to prepare ahead of the interview.

Loss of confidence, stress and depression taking its toll because of not working

Nearly a third (30%) said that they have lost their confidence and do not feel like they can get a job anymore. Others said that they were far more stressed, and some admitted to having depression. A further 30% say have had to cut back on their spending and change their lifestyle. 8% felt that change in circumstances was actually positive and they were no longer stressed.

Biggest challenges to getting a job in their industry

  • Nearly a third (32%) believe the skills needed are very different from when they first started out.
  • 29% believe the market is too competitive and the jobs tend to go to people in-house before they are published externally.
  • 14% 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.

According to Jobrapido’s CEO Rob Brouwer “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’. 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.

Jobrapido analyses and aggregates job listings from all over the web, so that candidates can find all relevant jobs in one place. Using pioneering technology and innovative products, Jobrapido connects the dots between great employers and stellar candidates.