Age discrimination is the biggest obstacle preventing people from getting back into employment, according to jobsite Jobrapido.
It surveyed 2,027 people in the UK currently not in education, employment or training and who had previously worked in management, executive, administrative or manual labour positions.
The research found that almost a quarter of respondents (24%) believe the biggest obstacle to getting a new job is their age and that the role they apply for is given to a younger candidate. Other obstacles included not being able to find a suitable role (11%), that they frequently go to interviews but are rejected (11%), poor health (9%), and not being sure what job they want (6%).
When asked about the challenges securing their job of choice, 32% said the skills needed are very different from when they first started out, 29% said the market is too competitive and the jobs tend to go to people in-house before they’re published externally, and 14% said the development of technology has meant some jobs are now redundant.
Rob Brouwer, CEO of Jobrapido, said that the results reveal age discrimination is still at play in the hiring process. “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," he said.
"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."
The research also found that nearly a third (30%) of respondents have lost their confidence and do not feel they can get a job anymore. A further 30% have had to cut back on their spending and change their lifestyle.
Respondents also cited wanting more guidance on the jobs they should apply for. Seventeen per cent would like advice on how to improve their CV, 14% would like better interview feedback so they can learn from their mistakes, and 8% would like advice on how to improve their interview technique or careers counselling to feel more confident.
Brouwer added that, while it is important for candidates to be prepared for interviews, employers could play a stronger role in helping to improve the confidence of those seeking work: "This 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 sessions, a masterclass on interview techniques, how to answer challenging questions, or guidance as to what jobs might be suitable for their existing skills.”
Nearly a third of those surveyed (30%) had been out of work for three to 12 months, 9% for one to two years, 6% for three to five years and 21% for more than five years.