With the working poor unable to retire we are entering a new normal of working purgatory until you die and is the other side of the coin to the rich getting richer says GMB

GMB commented on official data from Department of Work and Pensions which show that twice as many 70-74 year-olds are in employment compared with a decade ago and that one in 10 hold some kind of job. See notes to editors for copy of the story from Press Association.

Keir Greenway, GMB National Pensions Officer, said ” The trend for people to live longer has coincided with the cutting back by private sector employers of pensions for retired staff.

Good pensions have been replaced by glorified saving schemes that deliver not much in the way of pensions.  Just try living on the basic state pension of less than £116 per week for a single person.

With the working poor unable to retire we are entering a new normal of working purgatory until you die.

With State Pension age going up, misleading information about the weekly amount for state pensions and government setting the minimum that employers and employees have to contribute to a workers pension combined at 2% we are seeing a new policy of work until death for lower paid manual workers in the private sector. This is the other side of the coin to the rich getting richer.”

Twice as many 70-74 year-olds are in employment compared with a decade ago.

One in 10 hold some kind of job, according to new figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

It’s the highest figure since comparable records began in 1984.

Just over a quarter of million 70-74 year-olds in Britain are currently employed, up from around 100,000 at the start of the century.

The jump is part of a broader rise in the number of people aged 50 and over who are holding jobs.

The DWP said that part of the increase can be explained by demographic changes, but that growth in employment rates show that the number of people over 50 in employment has risen faster than the population over 50.

Around one in seven men of state pension age (65 and over) are currently in employment, up from one in 11 a decade ago.

A lower number of women of pension age are working: roughly one in 14, up from one in 23 in 2005


CAROL_SMILLIE_WIFThe British Franchise Association (the bfa) is today launching a campaign urging more women to consider the benefits of franchising.

The bfa/NatWest Franchise Survey 2013 revealed that women were the sole or main operators of 30% of franchise outlets in the UK. At this time, that is nearly double the proportion of all SMEs in the UK (15.5% according to government figures).

The campaign kicks off with a Women in Franchising conference taking place at Stratford Manor in Warwickshire on 17 November.  A line up of top female speakers from franchising and the business world will provide inspiration through a series of workshops and real-time case studies.  Headlining the conference is television presenter turned entrepreneur Carol Smillie who has successfully created her specialist lingerie business Diary Doll which is now an internationally recognised brand.

The seminars will feature successful female franchisees and franchisors from award-winning brands such as Wilkins Chimney Sweep, Home Instead Senior Care, Molly Maid and TaxAssist Accountants, as well as experts in business growth, marketing, franchise development and coaching.

“For any women who are considering starting their own business, this is a not to be missed event,” said Pip Wilkins, Head of Operations at the bfa. “Many of our top franchisors and franchisees in the UK are female but we want to encourage even more women to consider franchising as a route to self-employment.  Franchising is the perfect way to go into business but with a support network there to help and assist you.”

Someone who is already realising the benefits of franchising is 2015 Female Franchisee of the year Carolyn Sharpe (34) who runs the Puddle Ducks franchise in Newcastle Upon Tyne.  Carolyn, who was named Female Franchisee of the Year at the recent bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards, was previously an accountant with a global professional services company, but was looking for a better work-life balance and to spend more time with her family. Puddle Ducks is a franchise which teaches babies and children up to the age of 10 to swim ensuring that they have fun whilst learning water-safety skills and a love of swimming for life. Her business started in 2010 and now Carolyn’s team of 20 teaches over 1,000 children every week to swim in over 20 swimming pools across the North East.  She has a turnover approaching half-a-million pounds.  Carolyn was also named Puddle Ducks Franchisee of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

Carolyn said: “I was particularly interested in franchising as it means that you have an established quality product and support when it comes to issues such as safety, insurance and technical aspects of running classes.  My experience with Puddle Ducks has been just brilliant.  It is hard work but you really do get out what you put in and I’m now reaping the rewards, both financially and personally.   Now I am able to take more time out of the business and have a great work-life balance.”

On winning the bfa award she said:  “I’m thrilled! I’m ambitious, I wanted a challenge and a fulfilment in my professional life that also gave me the flexibility I needed in my personal life and that’s exactly what I found in Puddle Ducks. I’m so proud of my business and my team.”

For further details of the conference and to book a place please visit

Innovations in recruitment leads Datum RPO to be accepted into top membership association

Datum RPO has continued its stellar year with the announcement that it has been awarded membership to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies, a trusted badge of quality.

Datum RPO gained membership due to its innovative vendor neutral managed service that is helping to alter the traditional approach to recruiting staff directly through recruitment agencies. As such it is creating increased value for its clients, which include organisations such as CBRE and VINCI Construction plc, by taking a lead on recruitment innovation within the industry.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo (the Association of Professional Staffing Companies) said: “APSCo was formed to give all firms involved in the recruitment of professional talent who have a commitment to excellence, the specialist support and distinctive voice they need to be successful. APSCo are delighted to welcome Datum RPO on board and look forward to working in unison with it. Datum share our dedication to professional recruitment and we hope to grow its dynamic brand of business strategy even further.”

Acceptance into the body is the latest achievement in a long line for Datum RPO. This includes being nominated in the Outstanding Outsourced Recruitment Organisation category in this year’s Recruiter Awards and receiving the award in November 2014 of ‘Innovative Supplier of the Year’ by Norland Managed Services, a key client for Datum RPO.

Jarrod Mollison, Business Solutions Director for Datum RPO, said: “It is a real honour for Datum RPO to officially become a member of APSCo alongside some great companies and recruitment innovators. We have worked very hard as a team to develop and implement a flexible solution that allows clients in a wide variety of sectors including construction, facilities management, engineering, care and logistics to benefit from cost-efficient solutions to managing their temporary agency labour. The acceptance into the body is recognition of our team’s dedication to this aim.”


Lisa JonesSpecialist education recruiters, Class People, have announced today that Lisa Jones has joined the team as head of operations in an exciting development for the company. Lisa, a former teacher that chose to leave the classroom and work in education recruitment, has already carved an impressive career in the industry -working previously with multiple education recruitment agencies at senior level including both Monarch and Teacher Active.

With a work history and background that almost mimics that of CEO, Lynis Bassett, Lisa is a perfect fit for the ethos and culture that Class People believe in.

Lynis Bassett, CEO, explains;

We are delighted to have Lisa join us at Class People. The search for the perfect candidate has been on since February and we now believe we have the right fit for our company. It is extremely hard to find someone that has the level of management experience and drive in recruitment that Lisa has with a full appreciation of what goes on in the classroom. With Lisa heading up operations we can be confident in the smooth running of the company whilst ensuring that we keep education at the heart of everything we do.

Lisa Jones, newly appointed head of operations, added;

I felt a synergy with the values and culture of Class People from the beginning and I am excited about the future plans. I am looking forward to seeing huge growth for Class People and believe that with my vast background in the sector I am the right person to drive this forward.

With big expansion plans across other areas in the South-West in coming months, Class People believe that Lisa’s appointment is key to continued growth in this next exciting phase.

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