Returning to work is tough, but having your job application rejected on the basis of age is discriminatory and illegal. Still, older workers were hardest-hit by unemployment during the coronavirus lockdown. Bridge of Hope is here to change that and help you get back to work.
Recent figures reveal that 371,000 workers over-50 were unemployed between July and September in 2020, a 33% increase from last year. The shocking jump raises doubts about the capacity (or desire) of the workforce to absorb older workers returning to work, when ‘normal’ levels of recruitment resume.
Nearly a third of the UK’s workforce is over-50 and, unlike young workers, older workers will struggle to return to work.This increases the risk of long-term unemployment; in fact, just 35% of unemployed over-50s return to work ‘quickly’ and 29% remain unemployed for more than 12 months.This not only leaves the workforce with a huge vacuum of invaluable experience and knowledge, but also reveals the bigger issue of systemic ageism in the UK.
What can we do to ensure that older members of our community are not marginalised when returning to work and seeking employment? To improve access to jobs, for inclusive economic growth and recovery, Prosper 4 Group’s jobs portal, ‘Bridge of Hope’, embraces diversity and inclusivity. This is the support they need to combat age discrimination, alongside the dual medical and economic crisis that COVID-19 poses.
Now, while we can’t claim to be scientists developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, we can claim to be tackling the economic problem of unemployment. We participated in Nesta’s Rapid Recovery Challenge (read more here), a project that encourages innovative and scalable solutions to boost access to jobs. After a gruelling selection process, we are thrilled to be semi-finalists in the £3 million Challenge. This will catalyse the growth of Bridge of Hope and enable millions across the UK to access jobs, especially those hoping to return to work.
But we didn’t stop there: we also won funding from Innovate UK. The aim of the Sustainable Innovation Fund is to help all sectors of the UK rebuild after the pandemic. Our solution is based on a well-defined target market and the latest A.I. technology, allowing us to seamlessly connect inclusive and progressive employers with talented individuals at rapid pace. Our database already has thousands of live jobs, but this funding will be instrumental in boosting our capacity even more.
Driving us is the belief that behind each application is a hardworking and resilient candidate with valuable experience that improves with age. Providing the right access is what transforms the ‘old’ into the ‘new and strong’.
These are the steps we have taken to ensure 2021 is a prosperous year for everyone. If you agree with us and want to join our mission, we would love to hear from you. Please send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.