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SME Data Hub

Each quarter 1,000 UK SME owners across a range of sectors, regions and sizes, are surveyed by specialist independent researcher, Kantar, on Close Brothers’ behalf.

Use the drop-downs to select a year and quarter to look at the data we collected at that time.

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Ageism

88

%

of firms agreed that there are 'real benefits' to employing older workers

Summary

Published August 2019

Despite SMEs overwhelmingly understanding the benefits of employing older workers - with their experience being particularly valued along with their ability to mentor more junior members of the workforce - most felt that the recruitment process discriminated against older workers. This caused half of those polled to admit to already struggling to recruit the talent they need or to foresee problems in the future. The larger the business, the bigger the concern becomes.

Questions

With one third of the current workforce already over the age of 50, does your workforce reflect this statistic?

yes 58.4%
no 34%
Unsure 7.6%

With one third of the current workforce already over the age of 50, are you confident of recruiting the talent you need in the coming 5 years?

Yes, I have no concerns 51.9%
Yes, but I foresee problems in future 35.4%
No, I’m already struggling to recruit the talent I need 12.6%

Are there benefits to employing members of the so-called ‘ageing workforce’?

Yes, they bring with them huge amounts of experience 52%
Yes, they mentor the younger members of staff 35.4%
No, we find it too difficult to manage a multi-generational workforce 6.3%
No, they’re too set in their ways 6.2%

Do you feel older workers looking for jobs are discriminated against (often inadvertently) in the recruitment process?

Yes, the recruitment process favours the younger workers 66%
No, it’s a level playing field 24.8%
Unsure 9.2%
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