After 225 failed job applications, over a five-month period, one glum jobseeker fears ageism may be the reason behind his unsuccessful campaign to find employment.
Paul Fennel, 61, has been looking for work “non-stop” since November, telling The Huddersfield Daily Examiner that he’s put out up to ten job applications per day.
With previous work as a coal miner, millworker and salesman, Fennel has also been employed as a £35,000-a-year manager for a telecoms firm.
Fennel retains confidence in his abilities – having sold everything from insurance to burglar alarms – but fears that employers baulk at his age.
He said: "When I go for interviews I am with all these kids and I am treble their age.
“I think I might not get the job because I won’t fit in with the culture. I think there is ageism in all industries.”
Making a direct appeal to potential employers, he added: “Give me a chance. Just because I am 61 doesn’t mean I am past it. I have 29 years of sales experience and, if you employ me, I will benefit your company.”
Fennel’s experience tallies with research conducted by employment boffins at Anglia Ruskin University.
Their study found that older applicants were 21.9% less likely to be invited for interview.
Dr Nick Drydakis, Reader in Economics at Anglia Ruskin University, comments: “Our results suggest that ageism plays a significant role in the UK labour market.
"We find that older people must apply to more vacancies than the young to obtain an interview. Furthermore, older workers are invited to interview for lower-paid jobs, potentially affecting their standard of living.”
Research by totaljobs also found that almost two-thirds of 55- to 64-year-olds have felt discriminated against by an employer because of their age.