A story published in the Australian Financial Review today revealed that a survey of more than 600 business leaders by the Human Rights Commission and the Australian HR Institute found that 17 per cent of respondents classified 51- to 55-year-old workers as ‘‘ older’’ , compared with just 11 per cent in 2018.
This is not good news when so many people in the over 50s age group have lost their jobs in the last 12 months and are struggling to find work.
Couple that with the retirement age getting higher and the financial necessity to work until we are older becoming more prevalent, it is a worrying outlook for older Australians.
Ageism - be it deliberate or unconscious bias - is becoming the new norm, with thousands of Australians over 50 seeking employment, applying for dozens of jobs to not even have a response to applications and the Federal Government seemingly not acknowledging the issue.
There is a lot of assistance for younger Australians - as there should be - in the job market but apart from a few re-training programs for older people, there is no much more.
And there is no point undertaking a re-training program if employers refuse to take on older workers.
Older workers do need to adopt an attitude that is flexible, open to new ideas and different roles and be prepared to take salary cuts and potentially work part-time, but employers also should demonstrate a willingness to consider people over 50 for opportunities that may arise.