28 Apr 2012
Older workers favoured over school-leavers
According to EAL (Excellence, Achievement & Learnng Ltd), almost half of manufacturing businesses are hiring older, experienced workers in preference to school-leavers. The qualifications body for the engineering and manufacturing sector says new research shows that employers in manufacturing and engineering are less likely to offer opportunities to inexperienced youngsters, whom they would have to train up, when there are many ‘job-ready’ older people available.
The survey of 500 managing directors found that 48.2% would hire older staff over young recruits. EAL managing director Ann Watson said: “The engineering and manufacturing industry is already facing a real challenge to develop the skilled employees needed for the future, as existing staff approach retirement age. To think that young people could leave school with a desire to explore careers in these vital sectors, only to find their way blocked by a lack of opportunity brought on by the current climate,
is a guaranteed way to discourage them for life. It sends completely the wrong message to people at an age when we should be nurturing and encouraging their ambitions, as well as developing their experience and skills. If we do not, and we find that a whole generation turns its back as a result, the long-term effects on industry skills could be catastrophic.”