131,000 people - in the past year, according to figures published
this week. But a recent survey carried out for the department of
education and employment revealed that 78 per cent of unemployed
looking for work.
Speaking at the Institute of Personnel and Development Conference, minister for employment and equal opportunities Margaret Hodge
'The employment rate for older people is higher but there are still
too many people between 50 and state retirement age who are not
working. That is over 30 per cent - 10 per cent higher than that of
'But our recent research showed that 78 per cent of unemployed people
over 50 felt their age made it harder to get a job. Seventy one per
cent of people of all ages believed that a lot of valuable experience
and expertise is wasted by employers who won't recruit people over a
certain age. That represents a shocking waste of talent, energy,
commitment and experience.
'At 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.'
'I hope things are beginning to change. Since we launched the Code of
Practice on Age Diversity in the Workplace last June, more than
54,000 copies have been sent out. It was developed with the help and
advice of key partners including the IPD, CBI, TUC, Employers Forum
on Age and Institute of Management. We are building on this with a
publicity campaign and a range of competitions and awards to
highlight good practice.
'It takes time to change attitudes towards age prejudice, but the
government is determined to make that culture change happen, and we
look to our partners to help us achieve it.'
Research into Age Discrimination in the Workplace was carried
out by Continental Research on behalf of the DfEE. 619 people
between 18 and retirement age were interviewed by telephone. Its
findings are available on the age diversity website
The Code of Practice on Age Diversity in Employment was
launched on 14 June 1999, and the Age Diversity campaign on 14
February 2000. Copies of the Code of Practice can be ordered from
08457 330 360.