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Ageism affects old and young


There has been an increase in the number of workers over 50 remaining in work, but most of them think that age discrimination is working against them.

The number of people over 50 in work has risen by 2.4 percent in the past year, according to figures published yesterday by the Department for Education and Employment, but this still means that over 30 percent of this age group are unemployed - 10 percent higher than that of all ages.

The research also found that 78 percent of unemployed people in that age group felt their age counted against them when looking for work.

Minister for Employment and Equal Opportunities Margaret Hodge said: "there are still too many people between 50 and state retirement age who are not a time when good people are in short supply, employers cannot afford to ignore the contribution older people can make. That is bad for business and bad for Britain."

The government launched a Code of Practice on Age Diversity in Employment on 14 June, which was developed with input and advice from the IPD, CBI, TUC, Employers Forum on Age and the Institute of Management. Copies of the Code of Practice can be ordered from 08457 330 360.

The Employers Forum on Age(EFA), which campaigns against discrimination in the workplace has reported that young people are also experiencing age discrimination. A recent study found that one in four said they had been considered too young for jobs they were qualified to do, and a similar number saying they would have to leave their current employer in order to further their career.

Many employers have yet to grasp that there has been a significant demographic shift in the population - as the population is ageing, there is a dramatic drop in the numbers of 16-24 and 25-34 year olds, which is likely to have a significant impact on the labour market.

Employment law does currently allow for age discrimination to be challenged.


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