Ageism alive and well in jobs hunt

Ageism is alive and well in the jobs market, according to YourLifeChoices members.

Yesterday, we detailed an Anglicare Australia’s report, which found employment services were failing older Australians, and YourLifeChoices member Aileen told how she was struggling to both find a job and negotiate the government agencies set up to ‘help’ her.

A study by the University of South Australia’s Centre for Workplace Excellence backs up ageism in the workplace. It found that if you lose your job past the age of 50, you are in the hardest age bracket to find work again as a result of age discrimination.

One-third of people aged over 50 who were surveyed said they had experienced age discrimination when applying for work.

The study followed the 2016 Willing To Work Inquiry by the Human Rights Commission which found the average length of time job seeking for those unemployed over 55 was 68 weeks, compared to 49 weeks for those aged 25 to 54 and 30 weeks for 15 to 24-year-olds.

What you said after reading Aileen’s account …

Part of the reason for these problems was raising the pension age to 67. This has reduced the opportunities for anyone unemployed to find work. Also job search allowance is too low, much less than a pension. Dave R

I was retrenched at 60 after working casually at the same job for eight years and received no payout. I have worked all my life. I haven’t been able to find a job for over three years, even though I have applied for hundreds, got interviewed for jobs I am perfect for, and knocked back. There is absolutely discrimination against older people! Tzuki

In most cases these ‘employment’ agencies are a waste of time and the money that is funding them. Typical of a society where people in work cannot possibly relate to the problems faced by those affected by job loss – especially in the more senior years. Thoughtful

The entire job seeker system is corrupt. jackie

Expecting to find a job at 65 is a bit of an ask. Cowboy Jim

Job agencies have a vested interest in keeping people on their books, especially older people, as they get paid more for them. Old Geezer

It was a mistake to replace the CES with job network providers. Like private training companies to replace TAFE, they are just in it for the money. Sundays

Unfortunately, if over 60 they just don’t care. I have no super as I raised family, supported husband through a few work-related injuries and had no opportunity to gain employment in our small town. Now hubby on [disability pension] and I am faced with applying for Newstart and told “apply”. Not just search for jobs. How does one do that as all jobs ask for recent work history, qualifications and references? jennyc355

I started work at 16 (now 71) and worked all my life except for a few years when my children where young. When I was 61, I unfortunately had to leave my employment due to health reasons (which Centrelink didn’t recognise) … I spent many a day in tears dealing with Centrelink and its offshoots … I eventually found casual work myself missmarg

I was on Newstart for four years (61-65), had to do voluntary work for 15 hours a week but had to give that up when I got breast cancer for the second time, and in all that time, I never received any offers of work, except for one 10-week contract. I applied for hundreds of jobs, and only had three interviews in all that time. vinradio

As so many [members] here have come up against ageism and the Government, it seems to be time for something drastic. Write (not email) to the PM’s office and insist that as he wants you to work but no one else does, then you must be given a job in a government department. Centrelink would be a good start. Triss

There’s only been twice in 35 years of working that I have had to access these so-called employment agencies. They did not assist me in any way. Ted Wards


Related articles:
Ageism is ingrained
EveryAge tackles ageism
Crusading for dignity in retirement

Written by Janelle Ward

Energetic and skilled editor and writer with expert knowledge of retirement, retirement income, superannuation and retirement planning.

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