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London Business Matters

The Citizens Trust proves life can begin at 50 A recent report by Business in the Community, estimated that around 1 million mature, experienced workers have been pushed into unemployment by a combination of redundancy, ill health or early retirement. WITH so much emphasis on young unemployed people, the issues faced by older jobseekers are often swept under the carpet. A recent survey from Totaljobs discovered that 88% of 51-60 year-olds believed that putting their date of birth on their CV made it harder to get a job, while a further 73% believed they had been rejected for a job purely because of their age. The Citizens Trust is a registered charity helping disadvantaged people start life afresh by finding the right employment. The Trust is working in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and G4S Employment Services on an exciting new project called Journey2Work, supporting older workers across London into the labour market. The Citizens Trust works with employers from a range of business sectors with varying staff requirements. All agree that they want employees who are honest, responsible, dependable, focused and loyal. As one employer pointed out: “You can spend hours placing ads, prescreening and interviewing, hiring and training, only to find that your new employee turned out not to be the reliable worker you hoped for or, after a few months, announces that ‘something better has come along’.” So where can you find a dependable, responsible employee with the right skills and qualities, but is not scanning daily job alerts for a better position? More and more employers are finding the answer in a mature workforce. Large multi-national companies like banking groups Lloyds and Barclays, UK-wide companies such as coach operator National Express, retailers B&Q, and hospitality chain JD Wetherspoon are in the forefront of corporate initiatives to widen the age diversity of their employees. But, as JD Wetherspoon’s recruitment manager Sarah Carter says, it isn’t just a matter of corporate responsibility; a diverse workforce means that staff can interact with customers of all ages. Sarah explains: “One of our more mature employees said he felt he had a great rapport with our customers, because some of them are more comfortable talking to staff their own age. We still get people ringing up saying: ‘I’m 50 – am I too old for a bar manager job?’ The answer is absolutely no way!” The Citizens Trust welcomes enquiries from employers in all sectors, interested in finding out how mature workers can help their business. We thoroughly assess all our clients and make sure they are up to date with current work skills and we provide training tailored to your business needs with in-work support if required. We also arrange work tasters for short term trial periods when both parties can see how they work together. The case for the mature employee 1. Interpersonal skills. This is particularly important in customer-facing roles in industries such as retail, hospitality etc. Employers in these industries find that mature staff inspire confidence through good communication skills and tend to have a better knowledge of the products and services on offer. 2. Personal stability. Mature people are generally now more interested in stability, while younger workers are more likely to keep one eye on the career ladder. 3. Loyalty. Older workers tend to stay in employment by choice and are typically more satisfied with their jobs. 4. Work ethic. Employers agree that a major difference between younger and older employees is in work ethic. In surveys, the overwhelming majority (75%) agree that mature people show a far greater work ethic, with many younger employees lacking the same motivation and commitment. 5. Flexibility. Younger employees can be less reliable and flexible, having to juggle work with family commitments. One employer of a large call centre, for example, says he prefers older workers, knowing they can be relied upon to cover evening shifts. 6. Strong networks. Older workers have had time and experience to meet people from which they (and your business) can benefit. i To find out how The Citizens Trust can help with your staffing needs, contact Jess Begum on 020 8566 1206 44 CHARITY OF THE MONTH Click/tap for more info


London Business Matters
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