Understandably, record falls in employment and the official economic recession reported in the latest ONS labour market figures have dominated this week’s news agenda. However, the figures below the headlines raise equally alarming concerns relating to the employment landscape.

Specific groups – notably over 50s and under 24s – have been most affected, sparking deep concern about the long-term impacts. While unemployment is concerning in any demographic, the younger end of this spectrum is thankfully supported by existing and recently introduced government programmes designed to upskill and transition individuals into the world of work.

There is a real fear, however, that if the situation is not addressed, older workers losing their roles now could struggle to return. It is believed that just a third of workers over 50 return to employment post redundancy which given the volume at risk could lead to tens, or potentially hundreds, of thousands permanently out of work.

Commenting on the latest figures and impact on younger and older workers, Gi Group UK’s CEO Paulo Canoa said “If we are not to lose the experience, expertise and skillsets that are rich among these individuals, it is more essential than ever for hiring organisations and recruiters in those sectors that are experiencing growth carry out their searches responsibly and select on skills alone – ensuring that no unconscious bias is allowed to creep into recruitment processes.”