SilverTemp founder Art Beavis matches older workers with business needs.
SilverTemp founder Art Beavis matches older workers with business needs. Yvonne Gardiner

WORK LIFE: No 'use-by date' for older workers

MOST people approaching the age of 70 are thinking of retirement, not starting up a new business.

SilverTemp founder and managing director Art Beavis however, after a career in marketing, saw a need for a labour hire agency for seniors wanting casual and part-time work - and demand for his business is growing.

"I discovered there was a system that disadvantaged anyone in the retirement age group," Art said.

"An awful lot of people my age said, 'I'd like a part-time job'.

"They'd say, 'people over 50, you're past your use-by date'.

"The senior people, their resume goes to the bottom of the pile.

"I discovered a niche market for casual and part-time employment for seniors who were not getting any assistance from the Centrelink/job service provider system."

In late-2009, Art saw an opportunity to assist mature-age jobseekers.

The labour hire agency he founded, SilverTemp, operates in the Lismore, Ballina region and focuses on casual administrative roles such as accountants, bookkeepers, reception staff and clerical assistants.

"I organised a flyer and did a letterbox drop where there's a concentration of senior people," Art said

"Within two or three weeks, I had about 60 people interested in registering.

"Within the first couple of months, I had a bank of about 100 people.

"After interviewing clients and putting together profiles, I talked to businesses - small to medium businesses were my target."

On the whole, the reception from business owners was good.

"You do have age discrimination barriers, but there are a lot of businesses who value the senior person in their employ," Art says.

"With businesses, you're filling a gap for them and they don't have to supervise you.

"The employee works for us and we hire them out. I've got over 130 people on my database.

"They like to keep active mentally and also earn a little bit of money.

"SilverTemp has achieved the almost impossible by placing older unemployed workers in jobs in an area of very high unemployment."

Most workers on the database are aged between 50 and 65 years.

"I have a few who are 65-plus. I have an accountant who works for me, he's 74," Art said.

A branch of SilverTemp will soon be operating in the Tweed Valley.

Anyone aged over 50 and wanting part-time work can register for free on the website www.silvertemp.com.


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