Experienced workers can be a valuable asset — here are our top tips for older jobhunters

WHILE school-leavers may struggle to find work because of coronavirus, older people have been hit hardest.

Almost 200,000 over-50s have dropped out of the workforce since the pandemic began, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Research from social network site LinkedIn also reveals age is the biggest barrier to finding work.

Yvonne Bamgboye, 58, started her tech career in 1979 at the old Midland Bank’s London data centre.

She was made redundant as a director of client service operations for a US firm in 2019.

Yvonne, from Watford, said: “I was worried that my age would be a barrier to finding another job even though my sector, cloud computing, is booming and I felt I still had a lot to give.

“In one interview, a very senior global leader asked why I was looking to go back into a demanding job and not retiring. I even considered chopping a few years off my CV.

“But last week I had a final round of interviews with a cloud-managed services company, and I start in September. My advice to older job-hunters? Perseverance and determination go a long way.”

Over-65s will account for more than half of employment growth in the next ten years.

As a result, savvy businesses are moving to creating inclusive, multi-generational workplaces.

Natasha Oppenheim, CEO of over-50s job site nodesiretoretire.com, says: “Experience is your ultimate transferable skill and advantage over other applicants.

“Think carefully about what you’ve learned throughout your career and how you can apply this to future work.”

Here are her top tips for older jobhunters.

  • Think of examples when you mentored younger colleagues. With training budgets cut, employers value these skills greatly.
  • Look at the job description, not its title. New titles crop up all the time, but the skills required might be ones you already have.
  • The shift to remote working has opened up new opportunities, so get your IT skills up to scratch.
  • The roles you held three decades ago are less relevant than three years ago — so update your CV.
  • Prepare examples for interviews of how you worked successfully reporting to a younger boss.
  • Find more advice at nodesiretoretire.com and experients.co.uk.

Rights time to travel?

IT is a turbulent time for employees looking to go abroad as more air bridges are cancelled and holidaymakers are forced to quarantine on arrival back in the UK.

So what are your rights when it comes to your work?

Here Kate Hindmarch, head of the employment team at Langleys Solicitors, explains.

  1. If your holiday was booked some time ago, particularly before the restrictions were introduced, then employers should be understanding and honour it.
  2. If the holiday was booked after the restrictions were introduced, then your employer can require you to cancel the holiday, but this must be done lawfully and employers should be very cautious if opting for this route.
  3. Employers can request that the employee takes additional annual leave to cover the quarantine period. However, if you have insufficient leave left, you may be required to take unpaid leave instead.
  4. Able to work from home? Your employer can ask you to do this during the quarantine period.
  5. As the quarantine period is not sick leave, sick pay would not be available.
  6. Family emergency abroad? Employers are encouraged to be more flexible and employees may be entitled to special paid leave, depending on the company’s policies.

Applicants soar

THE average vacancy traditionally receives 25 applications, but since the Covid crisis some roles now attract thousands.

A report from CV-Library reveals the most sought-after UK job last month was for a trainee paralegal in London – which had 4,228 applications.

A role for a warehouse worker in Northumberland saw 2,932 people apply while a night hygiene operative post in Gateshead was wanted by 1,485 jobseekers.

Lee Biggins, founder of CV-Library, said “While firms may have struggled to recruit before the pandemic, they’re now receiving high volumes of applicants who need a new job.”

Jobspot

B&M STORES has 70 vacancies including retail staff, security and driving positions. Search jobs.bmstores.co.uk/

Haven for jobs

THE staycation boom means a hol lot more job opportunities at UK holiday parks.

Haven has created 500 new positions at 37 of its holiday parks in England, Scotland and Wales.

The roles which start next month, include postions for cleaners, support team members, and managers.

Haven’s Sarah Dickins, said: “The roles are a great opportunity for applicants to join an award- winning UK holiday company and we look forward to welcoming our new team in September.”

If you are interested, apply now at havencareers.co.uk.

Jobspot

SECRET SPA is taking on freelance mobile beauty professionals. Find out more at secretspa.co.uk/therapists/.

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