Young people have complained that employers are discriminating against them in the workplace, damaging their career prospects.
The Employers’ Forum on Age, which usually campaigns on behalf of older people in the workforce, is backing the ageism claim from staff in their 20s.
More than one in four young people say that, despite having the right qualifications, they are considered too young for certain jobs. A similar number complain they would have to leave their current employers in order to gain promotion.
Launched at the Forum’s annual conference today in London, the survey reveals that half of the young respondents questioned claimed they had been held back because of their age.
Confidence in the Government’s anti-ageism initiative was also questioned with over 60 per cent of all 18 to 30 year olds saying the Government should be doing more to combat ageism in the workplace.
EFA development director Ruth Jarratt said HR managers should develop policies to combat youth ageism. “We welcomed the Government’s voluntary code on ageism, launched over a year ago, which was intended to tackle ageism at both ends of the age spectrum. But these findings show that younger staff are held back by ageist attitudes.
Sally Davis, director of careers consultancy Sanders and Sidney, which carried out the survey, said, “Ageism is counter-productive for business – people at every level in organisations offer potential, which is being under-used.”
She added that in areas like new technology older workers could learn a lot from younger employees.