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Report suggests that employers are paying lip service to age diversity in the workplace

Whilst many employers outwardly support the benefits of having a balance of employees whose ages reflect the population, in practice they seem only too keen to put up barriers to employment for the over 50s.

A BITC study foiund that found that 38.1% of people aged between 16 and 29 who lost their jobs found work again, but for the over 50s the figure is just 30.5%.

Using data from the Labour Force Survey – a quarterly survey of private households – BITC found that the majority of people aged 50 to 64 had no change in economic activity over a three-month period, but around half a million (4.5%) did change their labour market status.

Of these, 44.3% left the labour market, either because they lost their job and did not start looking for another one, or because they had been job searching and gave up. A quarter (25.2%) became unemployed.

Age discrimination was cited as a barrier to finding work, and people aged 50 to 69 who had experienced discrimination said they felt their age was the main reason for being treated differently by employers.

The research also found that older people are more likely to use official support such as Job Centres to find work, with 16.3% of those aged 50 to 64 finding a place on a government employment or training scheme, compared to 12.7% of those aged 30 to 49.

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