The Emerging Over 50s Workforce
We have touched on this subject in previous blogs. We return to the subject again owing to recent published data.
The over 50s sector has seen a huge rise in individuals becoming self-employed and it now represents nearly half of the UK’S self-employed workforce. It clearly is the fasted growing sector in the workforce arena.
Figures confirm the huge increase in the over-50s who are self-employed, up from 1.45 million a decade ago to 2.27 million today. If you considering taking the plunge towards this market, have a look at our collection of templates which help the self-employed and new businesses. We have a range of HR contracts and trading agreements.
The research is provided by Rest Less – a jobs and employment advice website specialising in the mature market. It also pointed to 1 in 5 of the entire self-employed workforce being represented by the over 60s which has seen a 64 per cent increase in the number of self-employed, from 579,000 ten years ago to 949,000 today.
Its founder – Stuart Lewis, commented: “Many people in their 50s and 60s can feel left behind and ignored from the workforce due to their age. Sadly, with age discrimination still alive and well, we are seeing more and more over-50s finding they have no choice, but to venture into the world of self-employment to make ends meet.”
These figures should be set against the total number of UK self-employed which is now 4.92 million – up from 3.85 million in the past ten years.
It appears then that with a rising state pension age and more people being required to work longer as we live longer, self-employment does offer opportunities to satisfy this need. One also needs to consider other factors such as ageism and general health conditions. Self-employed work has the flexibility and variety to offer an extremely attractive way of achieving that extra income. The over 50s clearly have attained valid experience and have a wealth of skills which can be put to use in this way.
Sadly, it seems that a large number of older people consider their skills and experience to be undervalued. However, the plus side is that this too results in self-employment being a more attractive option.
The reason may also hinge back to inadequate pension protection given that nearly half of the 35 to 55-year age group have little or no private pension safeguarding and need to carefully consider how they will fund their later lifestyle.
The Office for National Statistics has already confirmed that the typical self-employed person is older than the typical employee.
It is a mystery why some businesses fail to support the mature worker with career development, health support and flexible working arrangements. One would have thought that to do so would be good for both businesses, the individual, society, and the economy. Just think of all that experience going to waste!
In respect of the economy – there has been a record increase in the number of over 50s seeking universal credit in 2020 – nearly double compared to 2019.
Employers tend to favour the younger job applicant (whether consciously or otherwise) and surely the position will deteriorate when the anticipated mass redundancies surface at the end of this year owing to the pandemic effect.
The good news then is the over 50s have already made up their minds and the figures speak for themselves! They are not standing still but instead are the current ambitious and go-getting segment of the workforce.
If you are thinking of joining this fast-growing area – why not take a look at our varied assortments of contract templates to help you get going?
2nd September 2020
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