Letter: Workplace ageism

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I am a mature student studying for an HND in computing. It is beginning to dawn on me, having been to numerous IT recruiting fairs, that I am wasting my time and money. The chances of a 45-year-old new graduate getting on to a company's graduate training scheme are non-existent, because their upper age limit is 28.

The Government's new code of practice on ageism in the workplace will not help. If the Government's Life-long Learning mantra is to have any credibility then a real law, with teeth, is required to ensure that employers do not unfairly discriminate against older applicants. It might also help all those aged over 50 about to be thrown into the job centres by changes to the administration of incapacity benefits.

A few court cases would soon sharpen the minds of the human resources people. The USA has such a law and it came about as part of its welfare reform project. I think it will be a necessary part of ours as well.