Grannies for hire

An employment agency with a difference: Forget hire a hubby; meet the woman who wants to hire out grannies. Workers who've cracked the 'half century' age of 50 years old are finding they are unwanted. Fairing worst are women - only 13 per cent of women in the 65 - 74 year-old age bracket are in the workforce, but one woman wants all that to change.

Lisa Harrison has started Grannies for Hire. She's turning the workforce's 'trash' into treasure by recruiting an army of grannies who'll do just about anything, from cleaning and cooking, to babysitting. "I just thought, what a wasted resource," says Lisa."All these valuable ladies with all this life experience, just going to waste." Why employ kids, when you can have the like of Elaine and Julie. "I find them really dedicated to the job at hand - trustworthy, punctual and honest more than anything else.

"They are not on their phones. They are not on their Facebook accounts all the time. They are just there to do the job." "I do a lot of work with the children," says Elaine. "Pick them up from school; give them tea for the parents to come home to. Do a bit of cleaning, washing." Elaine's going rate?

"$25 an hour," says Elaine. And it seems the only way is up for Lisa and her team of grannies - they have been inundated with calls. But what about granddads? "Well, we are starting with grandmas for now, but who knows - grandpas could be down the track, certainly." Granddad's army one day, but call now and Grandma Julie is ready and waiting. "Look at the over fifties - you have nothing to lose. And interview costs nothing," says Grandma Julie.

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