11th August 2010


–       CEO of Recruitment Genius challenges report as potentially damaging – –

According to a report released today (11th August 2010) by Age UK the number of over 50s who have been out of work for more than 12 months has risen by 52 per cent which, according to the charity, represents a ten year high.

However, speaking on BBC Radio Kent this morning Geoff Newman, CEO of Recruitment Genius, says the report should be quashed as the validity of the statistics are questionable and the negative focus of the report is potentially damaging.

Geoff said that, according to the Office of National Statistics, the number of over-50s who have been unemployed for 12 months or more is actually 25.7%. This compares to 21.6% of those aged between 24-49 year olds. Rather than representing a ten-year high the over-50s figure is in fact less than it was during the last recession (2001) when it reached 32 per cent.

The recruitment company which places thousands of jobs for small and large companies alike says that jobs are being created, many of which suit more mature workers. For example, 117,000 part-time positions were created during the last financial quarter. Traditionally older workers are more able to take on part-time work and, therefore, leave Job Seekers Allowance.

He warns: “This report is potentially very damaging as well as being demotivating for the unemployed over-50s. They are likely to hear this report and consider their chances of employment to be even less when, in reality, there are employers out there who are recruiting.”

Age UK also warns that the number of older workers looking for a job is set to rise dramatically as over three quarters of a million people are moved off of Incapacity Benefit. The reality is that the situation hasn’t changed, just the way we count the numbers.

Geoff commented: “As part of the Government’s Fit for Work Scheme people deemed ‘fit for work’ are being moved from Incapacity Benefit onto Job Seekers Allowance and motivated to find work; surely this is a positive move?

“In our experience companies who are employing staff are looking for reliable and committed individuals rather than focussing on specific demographics, that is, after all, illegal and we have legislation in place to protect against this.”

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