(Original post by DarkMagic)
I would imagine Person B is more likely to get an interview for the job than Person A though. What has the 27 year old in question been doing since leaving school anyway?
Also, Person B seems to have a lot more motivation so likely will be earning a lot more than Person A by the time they are 27.
in reality, the opposite of your first statement is true. Person A gets the job interview and job over Person B.
Person A is a very safe bet. For general retail work, experience or past skills are not important at all. The store manager will know this, and will pick the 27 year knowing they will likely stay and be a motivated worker for longer. The manager knows that Person A has little chance of ever progressing beyond this type of work, and has shown no desire in life to move to anything better. Given a decent working atmosphere and some nice colleges, Person A will likely be a competent and reasonable employee for years and years to come.
On the other hand Person B is far more risky and worth far less. Sure they are clearly more capable and intelligent, but for stacking shelves and serving customers this will make no difference to their ability to do the job at all. What devalues Person B is their motivations in life will clearly be well beyond that of Person A. There will be no question at all in the mind of the manager that Person B will always be looking for opportunities to leave. For Person A this is a temporary job that they will hold until something better comes along, and that devalues them hugely when compared to person A.
The only thing that keeps young people like Person B competitive in today's low-skilled job market is the fact that due to the different levels of national minimum wage, person B costs less, and therefore gives the shop owner a choice between cost and future investment. One which most large shops will balance pretty evenly, choosing to take on a mixed workforce of half young ambitious but cheap employees, and half old dependable stable but expensive employees.
If you force shops to pay both groups the same wage (its worth noting, some do already out of principle, but not many), then unemployment among the younger group will increase dramatically within these types of jobs.