Employers age bias still rife

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The Independent Online

One in 10 employers still discriminates on age when recruiting and promoting staff, a new report claims today.

One in 10 employers still discriminates on age when recruiting and promoting staff, a new report claims today.

Twice as many workers in the so-called "peak period" of 25 to 34 years receive training as those in older and younger "off peak" categories.

They also earn on average £1,250 per annum more than their colleagues in the administrative, secretarial and IT positions, according to careers adviser Pitman Training.

The report says ageism is still a major issue despite the Government's Voluntary Code of Practice on Age Diversity, which encourages employers to make job decisions based solely on people's ability.

The most discriminatory industry area is retail, where a quarter of staff believe they are held back from promotion on the grounds of age.

But three-quarters of employers interviewed agreed that a jobseeker of any age who could prove their worth would be more likely to beat the system.

"It's often a vicious circle for off-peak employees," said James O'Brien, group operations director of Pitman Training.

"They need to prove their value with qualifications, but employers are simply not investing in their skills.

"It's also about recognising the importance of life skills, such as confidence, intuition and common sense."

The report praised "off-peak" icons like Bobby Robson, managing Newcastle United at 66, and singer Tom Jones, still on stage at 59.

The Employers Forum on Age published a report in September saying that two out of three employers have no intention of changing the way they work and that eight million people have experienced age discrimination at work.

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