Policy Press

Past it at 40?

A grassroots view of ageism and discrimination in employment

By Lucy Gaster


Oct 21, 2002

Page count

68 pages




297 x 210 mm


Policy Press
Past it at 40?

There is a growing recognition that people over the age of fifty experience discrimination in the labour market. This ground-breaking report provides new evidence that ageism and discrimination are also having devastating effects on the lives of people as young as forty, with a cost to the economy of up to £31 billion per year.

Past it at 40? explores, in detail, the experiences of people over forty trying to enter the labour market, including: people who have been made redundant; the long-term unemployed; women returners; people with disabilities; and people still in a job but needing new skills to keep going. Employers' attitudes, policies and practices are examined, revealing a worrying lack of awareness of national and European legislation in relation to the employment of older people.

The report suggests a series of practical recommendations for government, employers, job seekers, employment agencies and other relevant organisations to ensure that as many people as possible, from all age groups, can find suitable work which benefits both employers and the wider economy. In particular it advocates an holistic approach to helping older people into work.

"... well structured and easily accessible... makes practical recommendations for recruiters, employers, job seekers and government on what they can all do to reduce ageism towards 'older' workers." BSA Network

Third Age Foundation provides opportunities for those over forty who are out of work, or in work and vulnerable, by revitalising their working potential through an holistic integrated programme of guidance, personal development and ICT. It also helps pensioners bridge the digital divide. Through its work it aims to tackle age discrimination, poverty and social exclusion.

Contents: Introduction; Ageism at the grassroots: Jobseekers' attitudes and experiences; Ageism at the grassroots: Employers' attitudes and experiences; Being out of work: It's more complicated than you think: finance, pensions, health and housing; Upskilling for working: The holistic approach; What needs to be done? A programme for action.

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