Majority of UK citizens aged over 55 believe that their age is a ‘major barrier’ to current employment. This came second only to a reported lack of vacancies, reported by two thirds of respondents in a recent YouGOv survey.

the survey found that, at a time when many older people are finding themselves having to work longer following the credit crunch and ensuing recession affecting their pension fund, 70% of over 55s are not confident of finding a job within three months of becoming unemployed.

If made unemployed, 84% of over 55s would consider a different type of job from anything they have previously done, with almost a quarter (24%) willing to relocate, compared with 49% of 18-24 year olds.

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With the state pension age being raised for women to 65 over the next ten years, those with at least a decade of potential workplace contribution should not be excluded from the jobs market, says Janette Faherty, CEO of Avanta.

‘People aren’t born with a use by date, yet the over 55s often feel as though they are “left on the shelf”; that they will struggle to compete with younger people who they see as more technologically minded with more up to date qualifications. That point of view ignores the huge benefit of experience, and transferable skills they can bring to a job, but this lack of confidence can deter older people from applying for roles they are more than capable of doing.’

In law, it is now unlawful to discriminate on age, though unlike gender or race discrimination, there are exceptions.