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Age Discrimination Blamed as Biggest Obstacle for Getting Back into Employment

March 4, 2019

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Research reveals strong call to action for recruitment industry, HRs and business owners to give better guidance to those out of work; offer careers counselling, advice on CVs, interview technique and feedback after interviews

Age discrimination is cited the top obstacle to getting back into employment, according to the latest research by https://uk.jobrapido.com the world’s leading job search engine.

The job search engine surveyed 2,027 people in the UK who are currently not in education, employment or training for work and had previously worked in management, executive, administrative or manual labour positions.

Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) believe the biggest obstacle/reason to getting a new job is their age and that the role they apply for is given to a younger candidate.

Whilst 9% of the respondents stated that poor health had prevented them from getting a job, a further 11% admitted they can’t seem to find the right job to apply for, 11% revealed they keep going for interviews and not getting the job, 6% admitted they have lost their confidence and 6% are still confused about the job they want. The remainder are using the time out to change careers and are thinking about taking a vocational course, consider their next role as well as travel or look at setting up their own business.

Nearly a third (30%) have not been in employment between 3-12 months, 9% have been out of work 1-2 years, 6% 3-5 years with a further 21% out of work for more than 5 years. One of the main factors for this sustained length (5 years) is to poor health.

Call to action for recruitment industry, business owners and HR executives: When asked what could help to change their circumstances, more than a fifth (21%) of respondents believe that they need more guidance about what job would be relevant for them.

• 18% would like advice about how to improve their interview technique or embark on careers counselling so they feel more confident about getting their next job.
• 17% would like advice on how to improve their CV
• 14% would like better feedback after their interview so they can learn from their mistakes
• Among other answers received, some respondents have told they would like advice on courses or training so they can build up their skill-base.
Research also reveals sizeable minority (4 in 10) are not preparing enough/at all ahead of interviews
• 55% said they read articles, research the company and look up details about the person interviewing them and a further 4% tried to connect with someone ahead of the organisation - however nearly a quarter (23%) said they just had a quick look at the website, 11% admitted they did not know how or what to prepare and 7% did nothing to prepare ahead of the interview

Loss of confidence, stress and depression taking its toll because of not working:

• Nearly a third (30%) said that they have lost their confidence and do not feel like they can get a job anymore. Others said that they were far more stressed and some admitted to having depression. A further 30% say have had to cut back on their spending and change their lifestyle. 8% felt that change in circumstances was actually positive and they were no longer stressed.

Answering difficult questions: When asked what was the most difficult question they had been asked in an interview, the most popular responses were:

o “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
o “How old are you?”
o “Where will you be in 5/10 year’s time?”
o “Why would you be an asset to our company?”
o “Why do you want to work for us?”
o “Why have you been out of work so long”

Biggest challenges to getting a job in their industry:

• Nearly a third (32%) believe the skills needed are very different from when they first started out
• 29% believe the market is too competitive and the jobs tend to go to people in-house before they are published externally
• 14% believe that the development of technology has meant some jobs are now redundant
• Others believe there is not enough information available on training for new skills or there are less jobs around than there were five years ago

Rob Brouwer, ceo of Jobrapido comments: “In spite of the progress of UK employment law and measures to mitigate against the risk of discrimination, it is clear that some companies are not giving candidates a fair ‘playing field’.

"It is disappointing that so many of those trying to get a job believe that age counts against them when their experience should be seen as an asset. HR departments should be scrutinising their equality policies and ensuring that all applicants, regardless of age, are given a detailed breakdown of why they were unsuccessful.Transparency is crucial.

“A considerable number of those not currently employed admit their confidence has taken a tumble and do not believe they can or will get a job in the future. However, on the one hand, it is important to be prepared for an interview when they meet a prospective employer.

"But on the other hand, clearly, there is a strong call to action for those working in the recruitment industry and to employers and HR professionals to look at ways they could support and help those trying to get employment. This could include running CV workshops, career counselling session, a masterclass on interview techniques, how to answer challenging questions or guidance as what jobs might be suitable for their existing skills.”

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