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April 27, 2015
New poll of over 50s voters shows which are the most popular politicians
- George Osborne may be holidaying alone this year
- results explain why Ed Balls and Alex Salmond are rarely seen or heard
George Osborne could be going on a singles holiday this year according to a survey from the over 50s jobs website SkilledPeople.com whose members voted him their least favourite holiday partner.
The Chancellor got zero votes followed closely by Ed Balls and Alex Salmond who were selected by only 1% of voters.
Top of the holiday choices was Nicola Sturgeon who was the first choice holiday companion with 10% of the 460 votes cast by skilledpeople.com’s members.
Ed Balls and Alex Salmond won the vote for the politician most people would cross the road to avoid. Nearly two thirds of voters felt this way about them.
The Green’s Caroline Lucas was the politician most people would like to meet in the street although, conversely, 31% don’t know who she is.
The voters’ top choice of a dinner date was very clear and won by David Cameron with whom 53% would like to share a meal. Least popular dinner partner was Alex Salmond at 30%.
“Whilst individual personalities shouldn’t overly influence our voting decisions, increasingly, political parties in the UK are being represented by one person and the look and feel of that individual is the basis on which people make their final voting decision,” says Keith Simpson, director of SkilledPeople.com. “Therefore research that shows the popularity of politicians is used by the parties to promote or hide certain people. Our study possibly explains why English voters have seen little of Ed Balls or Alex Salmond during this campaign.”
1. The SkilledPeople.com research was conducted anonymously across the UK among 500 registered members of SkilledPeople.com. 96% of respondents were aged 50 to 70. Older voters are more likely to be registered to vote and are up to two thirds more likely to vote, so their views carry disproportionate influence in a National Election.
2. SkilledPeople.com is a non profit making website for jobseekers aged over 50. We connect employers looking for people with 20 years or more business experience with high quality people who can make a difference quickly, at very low cost. We operate on social enterprise lines.
April 16, 2015
Labour and Lib Dems off target with messaging to over 50s says new poll from SkilledPeople.com
Following the publication of the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem manifestos this week, the Tories appear to have pushed more of the ‘hot buttons’ for influential voters aged over 50.
The over 50s website SkilledPeople.com polled 500 of its members across the UK on a range of election topics to identify which issues and policies would get their vote. Over 50s voters are important because they are two thirds more likely to vote than 18 to 24 year olds and a third more likely than 25 to 34 year olds. (See note 1 for further explanation.)
SkilledPeople.com’s over 50s poll showed that the over 50s have three priorities. Tellingly, these are not immigration (17%), the EU (9%), Defence (6%) or Crime (2%). The three priority areas to win support on are the economy (47%), employment opportunities (47%) and the NHS (33%). (See note 2 for explanation of figures)
In terms of vote winning policies, the motivators for the over 50s are: making an open-ended commitment to the NHS (72%), liberalising employment and business regulations (69%) and building more low cost houses (66%).
Contrary to what many may think, introducing a mansion tax (44%), renegotiating EU membership (38%) and cutting welfare costs (33%) are far less popular. (See note 3 for explanation of figures)
The Conservative’s pledges on government borrowing, economic growth, NHS funding, jobs, apprenticeships and house building taken together probably match more closely what the over 50s want than either Labour or the Lib Dems. The two main parties are both aiming to build 200,000 low cost homes by 2020 but they differ greatly on their commitment to the NHS with the Conservatives planning to outspend Labour by £5.5 billion. The Lib Dems are matching NHS spending but are less positive on jobs and the economy.
The message to the two main parties from the over 50s is unambiguous. The Tories should not concentrate on EU renegotiation and Labour should back pedal on a mansion tax to get the votes of people who are more likely to actually vote.
The SkilledPeople.com survey found a preference for a clear Conservative majority at 25% among the over 50s compared with a Labour majority at 19% but the third choice ahead of all the other possible pacts and coalitions is for a government of national unity involving all parties (16%). (See note 4.)
The least liked possible outcome is a pact between Labour and the SNP, getting just 5% as a first choice outcome, or a coalition between the Tories and Lib Dems at 6%. Scottish voters have a very different perspective as 47% would favour a Labour SNP coalition and is their preferred outcome by far.
"The UK's 22 million voters aged over 50 have a disproportionate influence on the outcome of the election because a higher percentage of them vote compared with all other age groups," says Keith Simpson, Research Director, SkilledPeople.com. "Wealth and health are their priorities. They want a new government to run the economy sensibly to create employment opportunities for all whilst simultaneously making it simpler for employers to expand and recruit new people. Balancing these aspects of wealth creation they want unconditional funding for the NHS."
1. The SkilledPeople.com research was conducted anonymously across the UK among 500 registered members of SkilledPeople.com during the w/e April 11, 2015. 96% of respondents were aged 50 to 70.
Research by Populus found that 35% of 18 to 24 year olds said they would vote in the election, 43% of 25 to 24 year olds, 60% of 55 to 64 year olds and 71% of those aged over 65. There are 22 million people aged over 50 in the UK. There are 8.6m people aged 20-29.
2. Respondents were asked to rank issues on scale of 1= most important to 10= Least important. The % quoted relates to the proportion of people who rated the issue 1 or 2, ie. highly important.
3. Figures relate to the % of respondents who said the policy should definitely be done now.
4. Figures show % of people who chose the option as a ‘Best outcome’.
5. Quotes and comments from respondents can be supplied on request.
About SkilledPeople.com: it is the leading website for jobseekers aged over 50. Our aim is to connect employers looking for people with 20 years or more business experience with high quality people who can make a contribution quickly and economically. We operate on a not for profit Social Enterprise basis. The shareholders provide all funding. No dividends are distributed.
February 8, 2013
BMW and Accenture confirm that older workers are more productive than younger ones, but 80% of jobseekers aged over 50 in the UK still claim to be victims of age discrimination
A year-long study by BMW has proved that older workers are more productive than younger ones and the management consulting group, Accenture, has reported that older teams of workers have lower levels of staff turnover and absenteeism.
Yet, in spite of mounting evidence that growth-minded companies should employ more older workers to increase productivity and lower costs, research by the over 50s recruiter SkilledPeople.com found that 80% of job hunters aged over 50 had experienced age discrimination when applying for new jobs.
The evidence from BMW is compelling., It conducted its study after realising that the average age at a power-train plant in Bavaria would rise from 39 to 47 by 2017. It staffed one production line with workers with an average age of 47. After one year it found that this line’s productivity had risen by 7% and absenteeism had fallen from 7% to 2%.
Further evidence of the value of older workers comes from Accenture which says that a number of companies have staffed parts of their organisation with older teams. They found that staff turnover was lower, absenteeism was down and customers were well-serviced.
SkilledPeople.com works on social enterprise lines to help small businesses hire quality people with at least 25 years’ experience and keep people aged over 50 economically active. But it reports that high levels of ‘under the table’ age discrimination is harming both the growth potential of small firms and work prospects for the over 50s.
Keith Simpson, managing director of SkilledPeople.com, says that demographic changes will force employers to become more enlightened as a third of the workforce will be aged over 50 by 2020.
“Far sighted employers should be cherry-picking the best over 50s now as an insurance policy for the future. These people need less training, are more reliable and less money-motivated. Our research among 750 older jobseekers found that 65% would work for expenses only to prove their worth with an employer,” he says.
The January 2013 Labour Force Survey figures from the Office for National Statistics show that there are 396,000 over 50s registered as unemployed within which 188,000 have been unemployed for over 12 months. However, these figures conceal the fact that there are 3.4 million people aged 50 to 64 who have become economically inactive. Many of these people, who have extensive experience and skills, opt to live within their means rather than register for benefits.
November 19, 2012
Over 80% of people aged over 50 say they have suffered age discrimination when job seeking, according to a study conducted by a service that helps older jobseekers find employment and stay economically active. Just 4% had not experienced discrimination first hand and 14% were uncertain.
The negative attitude to age shown by employers in the UK could hold back economic growth and slow down the recovery as the country fails to draw on all the skills and experience that are available, say the authors, SkilledPeople.com.
The latest government unemployment figures gave little comfort for older jobseekers. They show that 48.4% of unemployed people aged 50 to 64 have been jobless for more than 12 months. This is a higher proportion than for any other age group. Moreover, the number of economically inactive people aged 50 to 64 now stands at 3.46 million or 30.4% of that age group.
The research by SkilledPeople.com also found that 65% of jobseekers with at least 25 years of experience are willing to work for only expenses to secure a new position and 75% would accept a lower salary compared to what they have earned previously.
“It’s a myth that people aged over 50 are more expensive, inflexible and less productive,” says Keith Simpson, managing director of skilledpeople.com. “Financial pressures dictate that more over 50s need to keep working to supplement incomes and pensions. The baby boomer generation is turning into the encore generation as many people embark on second or third careers including self employment to make ends meet.”
SkilledPeople.com is encouraging business start-ups and small companies to steal a march on larger companies by taking advantage of the growing pool of skills-rich jobseekers aged over 50.
To make it easy and economical for small firms to tap into the know-how and experience of older jobseekers, the service has even created a hit squad of 500 business trouble-shooters which it has called the ‘Silver Bullets’. Each ‘Silver Bullet’ has exceptional skills in their occupation or industry but have agreed to charge very low rates to small companies looking to improve and grow.
“These people are more than just mentors,” says Simpson. “They have the ability to jump start new businesses and turn around failing enterprises.” The service is low cost and the company has set up a freephone information line so that employers can get more information on 0800 331 7785.
Typical comments from older jobseekers are:
“Young people are without work, older people are without hope,” says Jane McCourt.
“It gets to the point where you feel absolutely useless, especially when you have many skills and attributes to offer the market,” says George Smith.
Note: The research was conducted via Constant Contact among jobseekers aged over 50 registered with jobsites including skilledpeople.com. The sample size was 768.
August 28, 2012
SkilledPeople website creates an army of ‘Silver Bullet’
consultants to help small businesses grow
A website that helps people aged over 50 find jobs has created a hit squad of 400 business trouble-shooters all aged 50 plus.
Called the ‘Silver Bullets’ the idea is to give small business owners access to highly experienced experts with know-how across all areas of business and a minimum of 25 years’ experience.
The knowledge on offer ranges from finance and sales to production planning and international development. To make it economical for fledgling companies to get help, every Silver Bullet commits to charge no more than £185 per day. Many are willing to accept much less in exchange for the chance to share their experience and give something back. This backs-up earlier research by the jobsite skilledpeople.com which found that 64% of jobseekers aged over 50 are willing to work for little more than expenses to secure a new job.
The idea’s originators stress that theirs is not a mentoring service. “Our Silver Bullets want to do real practical work. They don’t want to pontificate or just give an opinion and walk away,” says skilledpeople.com’s managing director Keith Simpson.
He claims the quality of support available is better than many big name management consultancies provide because the Silver Bullets have more real world experience on which to draw. “Who would you respect more,” asks Simpson, “a 27 year old consultant with a briefcase full of theories or a 54 year old who’s been round the block a few times?”
“With a skilledpeople.com Silver Bullet a small business employer will get the best of both worlds. The consultant can draw on decades of knowledge to give great advice and then practice what they’re preaching.”
What skills shortage?
Over 50s can meet the skills gap in the manufacturing sector
May 18th: Skilledpeople.com, the online recruitment service that provides bespoke recruitment for experienced candidates, typically aged over 50, revealed today that it has a total of 619 manufacturing candidates with over 20 years’ experience each in the industry.
This comes in the wake of a report, published last month, produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu which decries the skills gap that manufacturers around the world are facing, and estimates that there are ten million positions currently unfilled.
“The success of Skilledpeople.com highlights that there are skills there, but they are not being realised by business.” commented skilledpeople.com MD Keith Simpson. He then asserted:
“The site sees a constant flood of CVs from exceptionally well qualified people seeking new opportunities who are under-employed for one reason only – they are aged over 50. We know that their skills can be applied with success in large multi-nationals and to great effect in SMEs here in the UK”
Skilledpeople.com is an initiative whose central tenet is the belief that the skills of the over 50s can still be put to immense use, especially to help SMEs and start-ups. A particular focus for skilledpeople.com is matching older, skilled people with SMEs and start-ups who need the skills and experience that these candidates possess.
It is well documented that one of the biggest hurdles facing SMEs and start-ups is finance. The feedback we have received from our site members is that this directly affects recruitment with many small companies simply unable to afford salaried employees despite needing their skills.
Skilledpeople.com agrees with the argument that small businesses need support to move the UK out of recession. The site also believes the country is in danger of losing a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience from professional people aged over 50 who find themselves under-employed.
To encourage businesses to take advantage of the skills that older jobseekers have to offer, the site plans to create a collection of exceptional people who have agreed to work on short term consultancy-style projects for very low rates to prove their worth. It’s calling these people the ‘Silver Bullets’ because they will offer employers a low cost, direct and effortless solution to business problems.
Dr. Ros Altmann, Director-General of the Saga Group, commented:
"Skilledpeople.com is an exciting project. It is so vital to help older people who lose their jobs to get back into the labour market as they have so much to offer."
Britain risks economic underperformance by prioritising youth ahead of experience
•Research reveals almost 100 per cent of over 50s unemployed feel ignored by Government
•Over 80 per cent claim to be victims of age discrimination
April 16th: 92.8 per cent of jobseekers aged over 50 feel the Government is ignoring the problem of over 50s unemployment, according to new research conducted by skilledpeople.com, the online service that matches older experienced candidates with companies seeking skilled staff.
In a survey of 702 registered candidates, skilledpeople.com found that respondents believe the problem of youth unemployment is being exaggerated and addressed at the expense of the over 50s who are being expected to work longer before retirement.
As a result Britain’s economic growth will be slower for many years to come than if the entire nation’s experience was properly harnessed, the site claims.
Additionally, over three quarters (80.3 per cent) of those surveyed feel that during their job search they have been discriminated against because of their age. This supports the conclusion earlier this year of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that age-related discrimination and stereotyping remain “rooted in British society”. (‘Attitude to Age in Britain' report, January 2012).
Commenting on the research, Skilledpeople.com Managing Director, Keith Simpson said:
“We see a constant flood of CVs from exceptionally well qualified people seeking new opportunities who are under-employed for one reason only – they are aged over 50.
“We are appalled that respondents feel they have been victims of ageism. It’s extremely short-sighted of employers to discriminate on age grounds. Over 50s require little or no training, making them productive workers from the outset.”
Skilledpeople.com is an initiative by two retired individuals who realised that the skills of the over 50s can be put to use to successfully satisfy the needs of SMEs and start-ups.
Dr. Ros Altmann, Director-General of the Saga Group, commented, "Skilledpeople.com is an exciting project. It is so vital to help older people who lose their jobs to get back into the labour market as they have so much to offer."
‘Silver Bullet’ trouble-shooting team to be launched
Skilledpeople.com is ‘putting its money where its mouth is’. To encourage small businesses to take advantage of the skills that older jobseekers have to offer, the site plans to create a collection of exceptional people who have agreed to work on short term consultancy-style projects for very low rates to prove their worth. It’s calling these people the ‘Silver Bullets’ because they will offer employers a low cost, direct and effortless solution to business problems.
65 per cent of unemployed over 50s would work for free
•Unemployment figures show over 50s unemployment at 428,000
March 14th: 65 per cent of unemployed over 50s would be willing to work for free, according to new research conducted by skilledpople.com, the online recruitment service that matches experienced candidates, typically aged over 50, with SMEs.
In a sample survey of 441 registered candidates, the site found that there was significant willingness to undertake work experience for no pay, other than expenses, to help secure new employment.
Over three quarters (75.5 per cent) of those surveyed also agreed that they would accept a lower salary than they had earned in the past, to secure a new full-time or part-time job.
The research is published as the latest unemployment figures show:
•There are currently 428,000 unemployed in the over 50s group
•This a rise of 2,000 from last month’s figures
•The total number of over 50s out of work up to six months (recently unemployed) is up by 8,000 people since last month
•The unemployment rate remains at 4.9 per cent
Skilledpeople.com’s Chairman, David Hiddleston, commented:
“It is indicative of the very deep frustration felt by over 50s in this country that, even with their skills and experience, most of our respondents – a staggering 65 per cent - would work for free.
“Graduate training schemes and youth internships abound, as the country wrings its hands in dismay at youth unemployment, but what of the forgotten over 50s?
“As today’s figures show, more must be done to help Britain’s unemployed over 50s, the figure for those made redundant in the last six months has risen, meaning more and more baby boomers are losing their jobs.”
Skilledpeople.com is an initiative by two retired individuals who have realised that the skills of the over 50s can be put to immense use to successfully satisfy the needs of SMEs and start-ups.
The site offers an innovative ‘Project Assignment’ service, which allows small companies to think big with a small budget, by employing experts at a fixed modest cost. Experienced candidates, typically aged over 50, undertake short term business assignments, enabling SMEs to develop at a faster rate and lower cost.
Skilledpeople.com innovates employment options for SMEs with launch of ‘Project Assignment’ service
• New fee-capped short term projects will help SMEs fill management skills gaps at reasonable cost
• Website supports Government aim of driving business growth and providing employment opportunities for 50+ age group
January 12:Skilledpeople.com, the online recruitment service that matches experienced candidates, typically aged over 50, with SMEs, has launched an innovative ‘Project Assignment’ service. This recruitment option allows small companies to think big with a small budget, by employing experts at modest cost.
A daily rate not exceeding £185, is agreed upfront between the parties for short term project work. This enables businesses to hire skilled people, for periods from one to 20 days, to undertake specialist tasks with a cap on costs. Filling their skills gaps in this way adds real value to a business and allows it to develop in a planned and professional way.
Skilledpeople.com spotted a gap in the market for SMEs that require well qualified and experienced people to undertake short term business assignments, enabling their businesses to develop at a faster rate and lower cost.
Chairman, David Hiddleston, who launched the site with a colleague after retirement commented:
“We felt there was not much in the recruitment market aimed at older people who had retired early, been made redundant, needed extra income to top up a pension or were just bored being at home. It seemed obvious to us that their skills and experience could be most of benefit to SMEs and start-ups.”
One of the key barriers to SME business growth is access to experienced affordable people who can undertake required projects in areas ranging from business planning, marketing, health and safety, and HR. Skilledpeople.com helps SMEs meet this need from its growing UK wide database of 12,000 people.
John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“We know that almost four million people aged 50-64 are out of work, and with the removal of the default retirement age, there are more older skilled workers that could be looking for work
“Initiatives like this will help older workers who still want to contribute to the economy to find new job opportunities. Small firms also find it hard to find skilled workers: this service could help them grow and take on new contracts using experienced and knowledgeable people.”
The Project Assignment service gives access to candidates with typically 25 years or more career experience that have the skills and know-how to engage with a business instantly. As a UK wide organisation skilledpeople.com can match people in different locations and will be of particular help to those in rural and remote areas not generally available locally from anywhere in the UK. For example a business in rural Devon could have a Business Plan prepared by someone in London without ever meeting face to face.
Behind skilledpeople.com is database matching technology which allows employers to identify appropriate candidates using ‘sniper’ techniques rather than the ‘shotgun’ approach of generalist recruitment sites, where any given job or assignment posting can return hundreds of unsuitable replies.
Skilledpeople.com makes candidate selection and recruitment more time efficient because SMEs can search the CV database before placing a job advertisement to confirm if candidates suit their needs, making it a much more accurate and efficient recruitment process.
The site believes that small businesses need support to move the UK out of recession and equally that there is a danger of losing a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience from people aged over 50 who often find themselves under-employed.
Government failing SMEs:
70 per cent of small business owners feel Government is not doing enough to help them
November 14th : A survey of small businesses, commissioned by skilledpeople.com, reveals that 70 per cent of those polled do not feel that the Government is doing enough to help them despite the fact that the ‘Start-up Britain’ initiative places start-ups and small firms at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery.
According to the research, small businesses want to see a range of changes to help them grow. Some 44 per cent would like to see more flexible employment laws introduced; 38 per cent would like to see business rates reduced; 30per cent would like the Government to introduce lower levels of corporation tax, while 29 per cent of business owners want to see the Government provide tax breaks to employ unemployed people.
Staff shortage and employment difficulties repeatedly cropped up in the research findings. Of the 20 per cent of firms surveyed who indicated they had received an order or request for a short term project in the past year but had been concerned that their business would be unable to deliver, 80 per cent gave capacity issues or skills shortages as reasons for this.
Worryingly, many small businesses have limited ambition to win large contracts and compete against bigger companies. Around 27 per cent say they would not compete against a large competitor as ‘it’s not worth their time’ and 10 per cent cite skills gaps as the reason why they can’t compete effectively.
David Hiddleston, Chairman of skilledpeople.com said: “With the economic clouds darkening once again, it is an urgent priority that Government supports the small business community by providing the tools and infrastructure to enable the enterprises to grow.”
The research was conducted by Opinium Research, who interviewed 311 UK small business (sole traders to businesses with up to 49 employees) owners, partners and senior decision.