Consultancies take note: ‘younger does not necessarily mean better’

I sympathise with the writer of the letter about age discrimination (Letters, DW 5 November). However, I would like to point out that it’s not necessarily recruitment agencies that are at fault.

While agencies can have no excuse for not treating people with respect, the fact that age discrimination exists within the industry has, I would argue, as much to do with the attitudes of design consultancies – young does not necessarily mean better. Don’t we all have something to learn from the older and wiser?

Restricting applicants on the basis of age will do little to help diversity and may lead to inflated labour costs for “preferred” age groups. In a competitive environment companies need to develop the talents of all people.

In June, the Government published a Voluntary Code of Practice on Age Diversity in Employment. Many publications and agencies have responded by banning discriminatory age-related criteria for job advertisements. This is a step in the right direction. If employers do not take heed, legislation may be forced upon them.

Joanne Bolland

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