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A concerted plan for the employment of older workers

This is the other aspect of the Government’s policy for the employment of older workers: to combat age-related recruitment discrimination in a country in which the recruitment of managerial workers over 50 years of age is no more than 5%. An employee over 50 years of age has a 33% chance of finding a job. Under 50 years of age the chances are 60%.

The objective is to reduce this rate for older workers to 45% in 2010. The Government’s idea is to mobilise the public employment services such as ANPE, to improve access to assisted contracts and create a new one: the older worker’s fixed-term contract. In Europe, France is currently in eleventh position in the rate of employment of older workers.

In addition to creating a contract specially designed for older workers, the Government wishes to make the most of existing contracts for them. In particular, the job initiative contract will affect 20,000 employees who are over 50 years of age in 2006.

Promoting the recruitment of older workers

In the same way as the older worker’s fixed-term contract is designed to reintegrate them into the labour market by being directed at “older” workers, the Government wishes to mobilise actors in the public employment service. Their support of older workers must make room for a differentiation of career paths and an offer of services that is suited to their needs. For example, the regional agencies will receive the means to finance the experimental programme "Etap’carrière" of personalised help in finding employment. On a wider level, the Government wishes to draw inspiration from a range of good practices found in the European Union and innovative initiatives taken by certain local agencies in France, including:

-  studying the motivations and confidence of job seekers;
-  identifying all the job possibilities for older workers (including alternative forms of employment: job-sharing, self-employment, assignments etc..);
-  increasing job seekers’ skills for the niches suited to end-of-career jobs (for example, internal consultant);
-  in the context of monthly monitoring, each agency advisor (ANPE, in particular) will have a quota of older workers in its job-seekers’ portfolio.

These good practices will, in turn, be backed up by measures to combat age-related discrimination. Accordingly, the Government will ask the ANPE and the APEC to ensure that job offers do not contain discriminatory clauses according to the age of the applicant. Agencies may rely on the "public employment service charter against discrimination, for equal opportunities and the promotion of diversity" which was signed on18 November 2005. In addition, a national discussion between companies will be organised on the subject of non-discrimination in recruitment.

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