‘Don’t write us off’ say over-50s

SHEFFIELD people aged over 50 pleaded this week: “Don’t write us off”.

As difficulties faced by job-seekers aged 50 and over were highlighted by BBC TV’s Panorama, a local group underlined the “huge potential and advantages” for employers of harnessing the skills and knowledge of the age group.

They bring 50 years of education and experience of work and life, said Sheffield 50-Plus. Companies such as B&Q have realised the potential and have a workforce from 16 to 95 years, with over-50s making up a quarter of their staff.

Jane Tanser, the group’s project officer and co-ordinator, said: “Among the 2,500 members of Sheffield 50+ there are a wide range of people in very varied jobs at all levels. All bring their own skills built up over their working lives.

“It is a shame that some employers don’t recognise the added value that more mature staff can bring, both to the business and as part of the team.”

Panorama said there is currently an army of almost 400,000 over-50s who face a growing stack of rejection letters. Almost half are classed as long-term unemployed , meaning they have been out of work for at least a year.