The most obvious thing people over 50 face when looking for work is ageism or age discrimination. We are very sorry to say this is alive and well and kicking in recruitment policies of all organisations and there is very little encouragement and support available for people over 50 (with another 20 years of work in them) to retrain or start new careers. A mad situation given the fact we are an aging society and organisations struggle to fill posts
That is not to say that organisations are actively ageist. It appears to be that there is a widespread and deeply ingrained set of beliefs
about how people are aged 50 or 60 that are rooted in a social attitude towards older workers. It doesn’t help that well-meaning initiatives aimed at the elderly (80+ ?) seem to start by including people in their mid-fifties onwards. This makes as much sense as aiming services for people aged 35 by including people aged 15 onward.
This lack of sophistication in developing services for people effectively post 40 but definitely post 50 is damaging. Its damaging to people and wider society is also losing. By effectively consigning people post 50 to de-facto retirement flies in the face of how people live their lives. It also ignores the increasing rise in age for eligibility for state pensions.
People over 50 quite often not only need to work for another 20 years - if nothing else to pay rents or mortgages – but also they want to. Sitting at home on little money for active people is not as fun as it first sounds to many people. And for many staying at home means isolation from friends who continue to work, cut off from day to day interactions, a reduction in information and knowledge as well as boredom, and loneliness. This isolation can spiral very quickly with a range of negative mental and physical health consequences for the individual And represent an increased cost to statutory services.
This of course is a nonsense situation. People over 50 have a huge amount to offer organisations. Experience, stability, often even lower wage demands. But perceptions are that older people are more likely to be ill, lack modern skills, are less energetic and coasting to retirement. We find the reverse is true. People over 50 we meet are thirsting for new challenges, cant wait to put their skills to use in new environments and have plenty to offer including support to younger workers.
So we need to change this. Third Quarter Tribe intends to raise this issue at meetings and forums. We also work with people over 50 to break through these barriers. If you want to find out more about us – give us a call or send us an email or find us on Facebook. We are very happy to chat!