Mature in the Media.

   My view - Nottngham Evening Post today   
Last Friday I was contacted by the business Editor of the Nottingham Evening Post with the following request. 

"I have been let down by a contributor for the "My View" section of the Business Post for next Tuesday. Would you care to step into  the breach?  A reflective  piece about older people  thrown on the slag heap but actually are an outstanding resource that should be used. (One – not more than two – references to your own business etc.) Is that possible. I would need  words VERY FIRST THING Monday and a picture of you, please!"

Read the article here: 

   Daily Express predicts: PENSION CRISIS TO GET WORSE   
  Read the article here: 

   Letter to Accountancy   

   Letter in Accountancy magazine (December 09 edition)  02/12/2009 

   Letter in Accountancy magazine (June edition)  04/06/2009 
Sugar and “Old Spice”…………..
Having sat through the current series of the Apprentice I have to admit to my dismay that although this is supposed to be TV entertainment, that out of the thousands of applicants we end up with a group of  some of the most uninspiring individuals, who are supposed to represent the best young business brains in the UK.  Either this is a flaw in the selection process or it reveals some disturbing evidence – that no amount of show-boating and boasting about your talent can hide the fact that experience counts. The last few weeks have demonstrated a total lack of business as well as common sense and Sir Alan must be wondering if this is one series too far.  Maybe he should consider a new direction and focus on people who have real hunger and drive as well as experience and entrepreneurial flair. If he wants some advice just contact me at where I can provide the people that tick all those boxes; but interestingly they are the ones who have discovered to their cost that experience doesn’t always count and that age can be a real barrier to a democratic employment market.  

   Recruiters stir  19/02/2009 

   Gavin Hinks in Accountancy Age  12/02/2009 

   Dispatches: Too Old to Work   09/02/2009 

To test whether recruitment agencies do discriminate against older candidates, Dispatches carries out an experiment - pitching two accountants, a 57-year-old father and his 25-year-old daughter, in a contest to see who can achieve the most offers of work via agencies. Martin Lloyd-Penny has 30 years of accounting experience whilst his daughter Tanne is still a trainee. They register with the same agencies and keep video diaries of their progress, recording their very different levels of success. Details are here  

   Britain needs you - according to the Guardian   
Click to read the article..  

   Martin's Letter in Accountancy Age  09/01/2009 

   Mature FT - Letter by Peter Detre.   

   Daily Mail letters   
  I read with great interest today that UK entrepreneurs are increasingly relying on older workers to plug skills shortages in their businesses, according to figures released by entrepreneur think tank, the Tenon Forum.Nearly half (45 per cent) of UK owner-managers are concerned about skills shortages and many claim younger recruits are often just not up to the job. Many entrepreneurs are now looking to the previously untapped potential of older workers to plug the gap, with two thirds (66 per cent) of SME leaders agreeing that the employment of workers aged 50 plus is a good solution to skills shortages. And more than a fifth (22 per cent) of entrepreneurial businesses actually favour the hiring of older workers over college leavers as a solution to staffing problems. Maybe I was clairvoyant in 2005 when I set up as a result of discovering that having a good CV, being out of work AND being over 50 was not a good combination. Nearly 3 years later I now have 2,000 experienced candidates on the books many of whom have discovered that if you fall off the corporate ladder in your 40?s let alone your 50?s it?s tough to get back on at the same level and for some to get back on at all. Despite ageism being alive and well in the UK recruitment industry, I have had great success in advertising over 275 jobs in the UK and overseas, many of which I have filled, which confirms my belief that in the SME sector experience does count, and as we head into murky economic waters that remind me of the early 1990s, many businesses will need help from people that have seen it all before. In a credit crunch you need accountants with bite!  

   Martin's letter in Accountancy Age   

   Martin's Letter in Accountancy Age   
  I read with interest “Institutes are irrelevant say profession” 15th February. I am not sure that it is just the profession that thinks this. Exactly what does the ICAEW do for me, especially as an older member who has discovered that life does not begin at 40 if you are in the unfortunate position of being out of work? The ICAEW sees itself as providing the premier accounting qualification which is presumably why so many graduates are attracted by the Big 4 each year, but as an Institute it does nothing to help its more experienced members to find work or even to offer career counselling and support. That is why so many disillusioned members vote with their feet and resign each year. I have tried to get the ICAEW to engage with to provide a dedicated resource so that they can show that they take the problem seriously but so far it has been the dialogue of the deaf!

Martin Lloyd-Penny F.C.A.


   Martin's Letter in Accountancy Age   
  I read with great interest “the Age of Acceptance” (26th October) and was delighted to see that the Accountancy Age/Robert Half survey indicated less public animosity to the new Age Discrimination Laws than had been expected. However I have a number of reservations about how the Law will be implemented and interpreted, not least because we are becoming an increasingly litigious society, following in the footsteps of the USA. As you reported there is a dearth of accountants in the UK which is ironic when I see on a daily basis the skills and experience of my 400 candidates that in some cases will never be used again –these are typically people in their 40s and 50s who have another 20 years left in the tank. With so much potential on offer why do we need to go overseas to plug the gap? However there are signs that maybe it is not all doom and gloom as in the last week alone has found full-time, well-paid and interesting work for 3 Accountants who have a combined age of 162, including 2 who had been out of work for over a year. Maybe the Act is having the appropriate effect.


Martin Lloyd-Penny F.C.A 

   Martin's Letter in Accountancy Age   
  When I entered the Accountancy profession in the 1970’s nobody told me that there would be a correlation between advancing years and declining earning power, because in those days it wasn’t an issue. However running a recruitment business with the name has really opened my eyes to the joys of being an “older” accountant in the UK in the 21st century and the economic realities of life.

It is quite interesting that my daughter who has just started a 3 year training contract with one of the Big 4 in London is earning £25,000 a year plus an attractive range of benefits and is likely to have doubled her salary by the time she qualifies at the tender age of 25 with no commercial experience.

This week I advertised a job in London at £25,000 a year for an accountant in a property company and I received 15 applications all from experienced and in the most cases qualified accountants. And what did they all have in common? They were all over 40 and they were all desperate for work! Perhaps it is not really the North/South divide that we should worry about any more.

I wonder how life will be for the newly qualifieds of 2009 in 25 years time, by which time the Government will hopefully have allowed me to retire.

Martin Lloyd-Penn

   Letter in Accountancy   
  Liberal Minded

A brief answer to Martin Lloyd-Penny's letter on why we always go overboard on political correctness (5th October) is because our laws are grounded in Saxon legal principles, which tend to see everything in literal black and white whereas in most of Europe legislation is based on Roman law, which has some grey in between.

This is why we complain bitterly in advance of forthcoming European legislation but then carry it out to the letter once it has become law while at least one European country not too far away from our shores appears to take only passing interest at the proposal stage and then adopts a pragmatic approach as to whether or not it should be implemented in practice.

Richard George, Worthing 

   Letter in Accountancy Age   
  Negative Impact

It may only be days old but the Age Discrimination Act has already had a negative impact on my business -
Yesterday I had to change the home page of my web site as I was strongly advised by the legal fraternity that there was a risk that I could be accused of discriminating against younger candidates.

In Holland a similar act has been in force for a number of years and is also the result of the same EU directive. Yet it is quite normal in Holland to advertise for over 50s, or people under 25 or to ask for X number of years experience. There is none of this crazy political correctness. Why do we always go overboard on regulation in the UK?

There is a great danger that this legislation will have the opposite effect of what was intended.

Martin Lloyd-Penn

   Letter: Age of unreason: Independent on Sunday - Martin Lloyd-Penny   
  I experienced workplace ageism when I reached 50. So I decided to fight back. I set up an online recruitment service (, and have a database of hundreds of experienced people, many struggling to find work. Now I learn I could be accused of discriminating against younger people because I use the word "mature", and I should not specify experience ("You can be ageist and not know it", Business, 30 July). Total madness. Martin Lloyd-Penny NOTTINGHAM 

   Accounting Technician - we get everywhere   
  In the September edition of Accounting Technician there is a small 1/8th page article on page 7 regarding the new age discrimination legislation. It gives quite a good write up of your company. As 47 year old self-employed accountant who would find it almost impossible to get back into the market I fully support your ideals. I work as a consultant to small tomedium size enterprises who when a replacement accountant is sought I direct them to look for a more mature candidate as they can gain from the experience and still have many years service to the company.

Well done and keep up the good work for us Mature Accountants.

Chris Valentine-Smith

   Letter in ACCOUNTANCY   
  Better with age Sir . I refer to the interview with Martin Lloyd-Penny of Mature Accountants ( in last November.s edition, p38.The content struck a chord with me, given that at the age of 57, I am finding it harder to find work.This applies to interim as well as full-time work. Martin spoke a lot of sense and I registered with him not long afterwards. His philosophy mirrored my own experience in several respects.Although I am still in good health and still comparatively young, I am treated like a social pariah by many (but not all, I would emphasise) recruitment agencies. Martin, however, is quite different. In no time, I was sent potential offers, some of which were right for me, others which were not.However, the day after I decided that I would have to chuck in the sponge and take early retirement, he arranged two interviews for interim work and I received an offer from each. Early retirement is now on hold. Sir Robert Ropner, FCA 

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