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First published in the Daily Record on 10 August 2021. By Linda Howard.
Most people over 55 want to continue to work past the age of 65 but face barriers, believing the jobs market is closed to them, according to a new report.
The study, commissioned by 55/Redefined, which offers jobs advice to older people, and charity ProAge, said a third of over 55-year-olds have lost interest in their job due to lack of development opportunities.
Research also indicated that fewer than a third of employers were motivated to recruit 55 to 75-year-olds and that nearlya quarter of over-55s felt forced to retire before they wanted to due to the lack of opportunities available.
Lyndsey Simpson, founder of 55/Redefined, said: "Our research reveals that over-55s want to work and progress but feel shut out, forced out or overlooked when it comes to their later-life careers.
"Ageism is clearly still a reality for many. At a time when we are all living and working longer, it is in all our interests to stamp out this unfair and unacceptable discrimination.
"Worryingly, our study found that age discrimination is being perpetuated by the people that control HR policy and standards. This could perhaps be an unintended consequence of focusing exclusively on other protected diversity and inclusion characteristics."
Dominic John, from ProAge, said: "Businesses must be more age-aware, stamping out discrimination and making themselves an attractive employer for older workers to tackle talent shortages and unlock huge economic benefit of this driven and valuable workforce."
A UK Government spokesman said: "Older workers are a huge asset to this country and we're helping them to retrain, build new skills and get back into work through our multibillion-pound Plan for Jobs, including our 50 Plus: Choices Offer, the Sector-Based Work Academy Programme and our Job Entry Targeted Support scheme."
Steve Turner, Unite's assistant general secretary with responsibility for retired members, commented: "There's a work-until-you-drop culture in the UK. Our older citizens are working longer, not because they may want to, but because our state pension is among the worst in the developed world and the Tory/Lib coalition pushed the retirement age further towards 70.
"If how we treat our older people is a mark of a society, then we're in trouble."