BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



Dharshini David reports
"Workers as young as 35 may be considered past their prime."
 real 56k

Wednesday, 13 December, 2000, 14:02 GMT
The value of the older worker
Older person in the workplace
Across the economy as a whole, older workers are becoming increasingly common.
With employers finding it hard to find the skilled staff they need, some firms are looking to recruit older, more experienced workers, reports the BBC's Dharshini David.

Figures out on Wednesday showed unemployment falling to a 25-year low.

With many firms finding it hard to find the skilled staff they need, some are looking to recruit older, more experienced workers, even in the high tech industries often seen as exclusively the domain of the young.

A recent BBC drama series centred on the fortunes of a new internet start-up.

And it reflected a typical image of the information technology (IT) industry - one staffed by dot.com whizzkids barely out of college.

Workers as young as 35 may be considered past their prime.

So is there any hope for the more mature IT specialist?

A firm in Reading certainly thinks so.

Andy Evans, Business Development Consultant, Pink Elephan
Some companies have recruitment drives, attempting to attract more experienced staff.

In a recent recruitment drive, it made a specific attempt to attract more experienced staff.

Andy Evans, 44, is one such recruit, a business development consultant for Pink Elephant UK.

He says firms shouldn't just focus on recruiting from one age group.

"Twenty year olds have a lot to offer in terms of dynamism, ideas and innovation. But having a broad understanding of how this business works is the difference between someone with years in the industry."

Across the economy as a whole, older workers are becoming increasingly common.

Government figures show that over 300,000 jobs were created in the last year. And more than half were filled by those aged over 50.

But even in a strong labour market, ageism is still rife - especially in IT.

A recent survey found that two-thirds of IT staff feared that they wouldn't be able to get a new job after the age of 45.

According to the experts, unemployment should remain low - and good workers hard to find.

In 15 years time, almost half the workforce will be over the age of 50.

To win the battle for talent - and profits, employers can not afford to ignore this vastly experienced group.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

01 Dec 00 | Programme highlights
Low productivity and the North-South divide
13 Dec 00 | UK
Know what you're worth
13 Dec 00 | Business
Jobless total resumes fall
Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories