Ageism in the labor market, alas, still exists: Although age discrimination in employment is prohibited by law, in practice, employers over 45 are often denied by employers in favor of younger ones, and veiled age requirements can be found in vacancies (for example, the line “Young, friendly team”). According to HeadHunter research, 19% of companies are not ready to hire people over 45 years old - almost half of them cite internal company policies.
One of the projects that should fix the established system is "50 Plus": its employees are working to change the attitude of society towards older people, help them live an active and interesting life, and also annually hold a forum-exhibition "50 a plus. All the pluses of mature age. " We talked with the head of the new direction "50 Plus" - the all-Russian portal "Learn. Work. Earn money”by Maria Zakharova about the problems faced by candidates of mature age when looking for a job, and about ways to solve them.
Our readers are mostly under 50 - but we all have relatives and friends of the older generation. These are active people who would like to continue working, but the traditions and conditions prevailing in the labor market leave them no choice and force them to retire
For six years now, at our events, we have been telling people that after 50 life does not end, but on the contrary, only begins: the children have grown, there are fewer responsibilities, and you can change your lifestyle - stop doing what is “necessary”, otherwise, what was your hobby or hobby, make your main occupation.
The market already understands this trend, demographically the population is maturing - this is happening all over the world, not only in our country. Yesterday at a press conference I cited figures: we have almost 46 million pensioners in Russia, 15 million of them work, and 18 million would like to work (they either faced discrimination on the basis of age, or do not understand where to go, or are ready to change their specialty or retraining, but do not understand how). By 2025, there will be a labor shortage of 10 million. The structure of the workforce is changing, that is, the world will have to accept that it needs to learn how to work with people of mature age.
And how do you hope to change this situation?
We decided to create, as it seems to us, a very relevant, important and timely project - a portal, which consists of three directions: "Learn", "Work" and "Earn". In fact, this is a brokerage platform: we provide a place where employers, educational institutions, courses, training centers leave their proposals, and our users choose what they are interested in.
In the "Learn" section, for example, there is a search in three areas: what is offered by large and medium educational institutions, what is offered by private teachers (tutoring or mentoring), and requests for specific specialties. The section "Earn" is dedicated to specific vacancies, including one-time projects and orders: we tell people that it is not necessary to work full-time - there is part-time work, and remote work, and one-time paid orders.
For some people from our target audience, due to earnings, pensions, help for children, the financial situation allows, for example, not to work, but they have knowledge and experience. In the "Work" section, they can exchange their experience, knowledge and skills free of charge. Relatively speaking, you will teach me how to knit, and in return I will teach you how to cook cakes.We introduce the concept of companionship, which is unfamiliar to many people, we say that you can get non-monetary reward for your services and work - that is, for example, if we are going on a trip, I pay you a ticket or accommodation, and you give me excursions for this. This is not a monetary interaction, but it is profitable.
We will also have free consultations of a lawyer and a psychologist on our portal. We are also making a forum - we believe that our portal is also a platform for communication, where people can discuss current issues, problems, assess employers or educational institutions. As for the end users, they fill out a questionnaire, note in which section they submit their proposals - what they want to do for money, and the services they are willing to exchange.
You are also involved in education. What do older people most want to learn?
The problem is that schools or courses that offer training for older people mainly offer computer literacy classes, maybe language courses, handicrafts, or health classes like qigong, yoga. And that's all. As if there are no other directions that people might be interested in.
Now there are many district social organizations that work with pensioners. They open courses, but it seems to me that this is a kind of "plugging holes." People simply study what they could not study during their life for a number of objective reasons. Now they are ready to learn, they have time for this, and therefore our task is to interest educational organizations so that they compose their program of diverse classes, satisfy this deep demand, and not be limited to common topics.
We talked with our colleagues from the training center, and they identified another problem. People are happy to study, especially if it is inexpensive (as a rule, courses try to give some kind of subsidies or discounts for training, and people willingly go to study). But then they do not know at all how to apply this knowledge. For example, a person has learned to make soap - but what to do about it? How to sell the result of your labor? How to talk about what he can do? Who will hire him to make soap? For people of mature age, this is a big barrier and fear. In this direction, we are also going to involve our like-minded people, so that they can make, perhaps, several video lectures or a series of articles that will explain to people how they can apply the knowledge gained in life. In addition, it seems to us that the portal will be an assistant for people of mature age not only in search, but also in communication, in implementing their ideas.
How often do older people decide to do something completely new after they retire?
The process goes on from two sides: people who change their lives do it because the environment presents them with such a challenge: they understand that they need to change and there is nothing to worry about. These are not isolated cases, but a growing stream of people who are ready to change something in their lives.
We have a reward - the festival-prize "50 plus". It involves people who send us their stories about how they changed their lives after 50. This happens in completely different areas - a person began to draw or, for example, was a military man, and began to raise chickens - there are many stories, and all of them more and more. Now the world is so open that it has become clear that it is not necessary to conditionally work at a factory all your life. Soon the business will finally understand that the market will develop at the expense of people of mature age. For example, MTS realized this: their coverage is growing due to the fact that 50 plus people become users of phones and tablets. For several years they have been conducting training courses, telling how to work with gadgets so that people are not afraid and buy these devices.
How do companies and employers view older people?
Businesses have a problem producing goods and services that meet the needs of mature people. And employers do not yet understand how they can work with older people. The work should be done from two sides: applicants do not need to “sell” (and companies do not need to demand from a person looking for a job) conditionally 35 years of work experience in accounting. Such an applicant should say, for example, that he can get out of any critical situation - let's say that the tax office came to his company 30 times, and he always managed.
Employers should understand that it is enough to send energetic young people to the required area of work, and they can give some basic, analytical work to people of a more mature age, because they have a good eye and a full hand. When we discussed cooperation with Jomart Aliyev, Chairman of the Moscow International Higher School of Business "Mirbis", we talked about the need to make training courses not only for people of the "third age", but also for employers in order to teach them correctly communicate with such workers.
For older people, work usually means an office, full time, and a regular schedule. Is there an option for them to work from home - for example, for people with reduced mobility?
We believe the market is ready for telecommuting and part-time work, and workers will soon understand the beauty of this. In turn, on the portal we conduct a survey among users, to which work schedule they are now more inclined and ready. We will explain that there are other forms of interaction with an employer, and people should not be scared or confused by this. Especially if a person knows how to use a computer: he can use Skype or send his analytical reports or reviews by e-mail, and that will be enough. For some, one day of attendance a week is enough, for others - three, but for some it is enough to come once a month to the meeting and discuss plans for the next month. In this sense, everything is very easy.
You work at the federal level. Are there any problems that are felt more acutely in the regions than in Moscow?
It seems to me that there can be only one aspect in the regions, which will be very different from Moscow, and that is choice. This applies not only to work: in many regions, for example, there are fewer shops and cinemas. Much depends on the region itself: if there is one budget-forming enterprise in it, as in Togliatti, then it is clear what options the residents will have: make cars or calculate the sales of these cars. And, for example, in the Novosibirsk or Sverdlovsk regions there are also science cities - here there is another choice and other opportunities. But again, due to the fact that you can study and work remotely, online, there is an opportunity to make a different choice. You can study in Moscow - receive education by correspondence. Not to mention the fact that there are areas in which presence in the workplace is not necessary, for example, in IT.
When working on a project, do you think about people who are not yet 50 years old? Are there any ways and measures to change the situation so that they do not become hostages of the same system in the future?
For six years we have observed the following trend: the composition of the guests of our annual exhibition has become very rejuvenated. Now people under 40 come to us, older people who take someone from their family with them, or, on the contrary, young people who promise to bring their parents later. The exhibition has become so diverse that the younger generation is also in demand: on the one hand, they see what they can offer their parents and what they can use themselves; on the other hand, when after some time they themselves find themselves in this age category, they will know what to expect and where to direct their efforts to avoid age discrimination.
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