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“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough” is a phrase often used to justify the selection of a promising young athlete or promotion of a young lawyer.

But does it work in reverse? Not according to a generation of baby boomers who are struggling to find work.

A study of over 800 older adults by the Age and Employment Network found a sharp increase in the numbers being made redundant up from 32% to 47% as the recessions takes it toll.

The study underlines the fact that ageism is everywhere, whether it's in the provision of health care, the availability of insurance or the exclusion from jury service for those over 70.

An overwhelming 9 in 10 of over-fifties back proposals in the government's Equality Bill - which had its second reading in the Commons the other week - to protect consumers from age-related discrimination.

The proposed changes under the Bill will bring the UK in line with recent European case law on the topic of equality and will hopefully lead to fairer employment prospects for women, the disabled and other currently disadvantaged groups, including those deemed ‘elderly’.  

It will provide for positive discrimination in terms of employment prospects for these groups who are currently losing out.

The Equality Bill also proposes free training programmes and schemes which will give those discriminated against an advantage in a market place which currently strongly favours the young.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of ageism you should contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, or consult a lawyer experienced in employment law.

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