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Older jobseekers feel discriminated against

Those aged 55 to 64 feel employers discriminate against them because of their age

Almost two-thirds (63%) of 55- to 64-year-olds have said they've felt discriminated against by a prospective employer because of their age, according to job website totaljobs.

The research, part of the job site's #MillionPoundJamie campaign, found that young people are much less likely to feel discriminated against because of their age.

Just a third (33%) of respondents aged 16 to 24 had experienced age discrimination, with this number falling to 21% for 25- to 34-year-olds and 22% for 35- to 44-year-olds – a stark contrast to the 63% of 55- to 64-year-olds.

Whereas 82% of 55- to 64-year-olds and 62% of 45- to 54-year-olds see their age as a disadvantage when applying for a job, only 31% of 16- to 24-year-olds and 16% of 25- to 34-year-olds feel the same.

The report also found that older people generally spend more time preparing for job interviews. More than seven in 10 (72%) 55- to 64-year-olds said they spend more than an hour prepping for an interview compared with just 62% of 16- to 24-year-olds.

John Salt, group sales director for totaljobs, warned that unconscious bias is still an issue recruiters must work to overcome. “In a candidate-led market where businesses continue to create new jobs there’s no reason for employers to miss out on talent,” he said. “But our research shows that age discrimination, whether conscious or unconscious, still exists and is an issue affecting many jobseekers."

He advised that recruiters should not discount people based on their age. “Older generations bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge. In many cases candidates with more experience tend to be more confident and able to creatively problem-solve based on both the life and work experiences they have dealt with over the years.”

Data released in the totaljobs Employment Index shows postings on the totaljobs website were up 7% year-on-year in September. Looking at Q3 2016 versus Q3 2015 the number of vacancies is up 8% and applications per job were up 3%.