Accueil » 45-2 ( 1990) » Les obstacles rencontrés par des personnes de 45 à 64 ans à la recherche d'un emploi

Les obstacles rencontrés par des personnes de 45 à 64 ans à la recherche d'un emploi

Gilles Guérin et Michel Hébert


La littérature suggère que les personnes âgées de 45 à 64 ans rencontrent trois groupes de difficultés dans la recherche d'un emploi: les problèmes découlant de l'accessibilité aux programmes gouvernementaux, les pratiques discriminatoires des employeurs et les caractéristiques et faiblesses des personnes concernées. Les auteurs vérifient l'importance relative de ces obstacles auprès de 207 répondants.


The object of this research is to analyse the obstacles met by persons aged between 45 and 64 years old in search of employment. Little has been published on the subject; however, previous studies have outlined three groups of difficulties: those related to the accessibility of government programs, those caused by employers' discrimination and practices, and finally, those related to the individuals' own characteristics and shortcomings.

A list of these obstacles was made up and includes open questions allowing the expression of problems that might have been overlooked in previous studies. Our (207) two hundred and seven respondents aged between 45 and 64 years old were all looking for employment and were all members of one of the following Montreal area community groups: CREA, «Les sans emplois de 40 ans et plus», Eurêka, L'Enjeu, Option-Elle and «Executives Avallable».

Our goal was to find out how important each of these obstacles were to the respondents. We also wanted to help community groups to develop long term financial policies taking into account Employment and Immigration advisory committee's readiness to subsidize local community groups.

The results indicates that, by far, the respondents' main concern is the lack of government programs that would ease older workers back into the workforce. There is also great concern over the accessibility of existing improvement and training programs. To a lesser degree, workers are concerned about those difficulties that arise from the employers' practices which could be interpreted as dismininatory: the employer's desire to hire younger workers, his desire to eut labour costs, his unwillingness to interview an aging job applicant, etc. Finally, aging workers are concerned about the obstacles that are the result of their own weaknesses: their feeling of being to old, their underqualification, their discouragement, their difficulty in assessing their capabilities, etc.

There is a great disparity of problems from one respondent to the next. As expected the least educated and the ones who have a limited work experience are facing the greater number of problems. Some problems are specifie to women while others are specifie to the occupational category.

These four points are the main topics of our conclusion:

- The government has to improve its services to the aging workers in search of employment, and, above all, adapt its services to the user's need and solution;

- Whether the employers' attitude toward older workers is discriminatory or whether it is simply a matter of sound management is hard to establish within this research;

- The employers cannot put aside older workers indefinitely; they will have to adapt their personnel management to the requirements of the aging workforce;

- There is a group of older workers facing numerous and serious difficulties, with little employment perspective, that needs government support.