Nothing new to say about ageism
April 16, 2012 2 Comments
An article in yesterday’s Observer was entitled Ageism is back as unemployed over-50s struggle to get back into work. From this one might have hoped that it would have revealed some deep but profound secret that we weren’t aware of in that somewhere, for a period of time, ageism had gone away.
Well it didn’t and it hasn’t. There was no new news and certainly no good news in this piece.
The Work Foundation Director commenting that “The older worker had not fared too badly over recent years, and there were more over-50s in work now than before the recession” really missed the point.
The problem with ageism largely isn’t in the workplace itself it’s with older people trying to get back into the workplace – two entirely separate issues.
The reason there are more over-50s in work is probably twofold; there are more over-50s around, and those with jobs are staying on in work longer, for a variety of reasons.
The optimist in me says that, over time, if there are more older workers around, employers will appreciate more what they have to offer and this will eventually translate into actually recruiting new older workers. Is this just “pie in the sky” and, if not, how can we accelerate the process?