Silver surfers are the next generation of Web recruits

site aimed at over-50s hopes to beat age bias by showing employers that older
people are keeping up with the latest technology

departments committed to an age diversity programme can take advantage of a
recruitment web site relaunched next week, dedicated to career opportunities
for the over-50s.

aims to overcome the discrimination this age group faces by connecting older
job-seekers with potential employers. "Clearly we hope that HR managers
will see FiftyOn as one part of their [Internet] recruitment strategy, giving
them access to a niche population, essential if they are to achieve diversity
in their workforce," explains CEO Denis Walker.

HR director Walker is forging links with companies that are committed to age
diversification, but urges HR professionals everywhere not to overlook the

more likely to appeal to the converted at first, but with changing demographics
and worsening skill shortages, all employers are going to have to consider how
they change their HR policies to take advantage of a skilled but under-utilised
group," he says.

2020 the over-50 age group will represent more than half the population across
Europe. Marketeers are beginning to realise that these people are richer and
livelier than ever before. It will be the enlightened companies that will
benefit the most."

than 4 million people aged 50 and over in the UK own a computer ñ and half of
those regularly surf the Internet.

so-called "silver surfers" represent one of the fastest growing bands
of Internet users, and research carried out by NOP towards the end of last year
on behalf of FiftyOn found that more than one in three people between the ages
of 50 and 65 are interested in job-hunting on-line.

per cent of those questioned who had used the Internet before would use it to
help them find employment and 27 per cent of those who had never been on-line
said they would be interested in using the Internet for job-hunting.

introduction of the site follows the Cabinet Office report, Winning the
Generation Game, which states that older people are not receiving
"accurate information and intensive guidance about the career choices open
to them, or the more active assistance with job search and specific training
that they need".

backed by private investment from the Change Partnership and individual
investors, aims to provide a mixture of job opportunities and leisure and
lifestyle content for the age group.

include a career fitness centre, where users will be encouraged to think
through what they want from a future career, and FiftyOn is committed to
ensuring that applicants will be suited to a particular position before any
details are submitted to an employer to reduce time-wasting.

whose team of 12 staff are aged between early 20s to early 60s, wants to
capitalise on the government’s bid to increase Internet usage in the UK across
all age and social groups.

the moment, it will target white and blueish-collar workers because that
reflects who has Internet access at the moment, but this is changing,"
explains Walker, citing government-backed initiatives such as LearnDirect as a
factor in its wider take-up.

Denis Walker

52 Denis Walker falls into the silver surfer category and had been considering
his next career move when he "bumped into the idea" of FiftyOn
through a consultancy job. His career in HR and management has spanned 30 years.

group HR director, AXA UK
1998 UK executive director, human resources, GRE
1995 group director of human resources and quality, PPP Healthcare
1986 Independent management consultant in both public and private sectors
1970-1986 a variety of HR and training roles, British Airways

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