“While fully expecting the usual jokes about my needing to find employment after the next General Election, I wanted to raise the issue of over-50s who are unable to find work because of age discrimination with the Department of Work and Pensions” says Michael Fabricant. “In fact, having employed over-50s, I have found that they tend to be more reliable than some younger workers and in particular they are more punctual and have a strong work ethic. Having said that, I know there are many keen and able youngsters too!”
In the House of Commons, Michael asked the Minister for Employment Guy Opperman: “What help his Department is giving to people aged 50 and over to find employment?”
Guy Opperman replied : “The Government is already providing £20 million for an enhanced offer to help older workers remain in, or return to work. This includes 37 full-time 50-plus champions, delivering the midlife MOT, and for older workers jobs fairs, including three 50-plus fairs held in my Hon Friend the Member for Bracknell’s constituency in the last few months.”
Michael then asked: “As you know, Mr Speaker, because of my youth, I don’t have to declare an interest!
“Does my Rt Hon Friend agree with me that, older people on the whole tend to be more punctual, more dedicated, more reliable, and tend to be able to spell?
“What is he doing to tell employers that these are the very reasons why they ought to employ older people?”
Guy Opperman replied: “Of course my Hon Friend, who is under the age of 50 I’m sure, does not need to declare an interest in the desire of this Government to ensure that we have more over-50s in employment!
“He will be aware, however, that there are four jobs fairs open to 50-plus customers from Lichfield that have been held across Staffordshire and Derbyshire in the last few months, and planning is under way to deliver another event very shortly.”