Its Hidden heroes report, which surveyed of 3,542 UK adults aged 16 or over who currently work in or are looking to work in the construction, hospitality, catering, sales, retail, driving and logistics, healthcare, education and information technology (IT) sectors, also found that 54% of respondents feel underpaid, with 46% of women employed in these sectors earning less than £15,000 a year, compared to 26% of men.
Almost four in 10 (36%) respondents want more flexibility with their working hours, however 26% state that their working hours are already removed from the traditional nine to five.
More than half (54%) of respondents aged 65 or above feel content with their working life, compared to only 11% who are aged between 25 and 34; 58% of these younger respondents want to be paid more because they believe they are not being compensated enough.
Furthermore, 45% of 25 to 34-year-olds working in the aforementioned sectors feel that their talents are being wasted in their current role, with 49% of hospitality and catering staff feeling overqualified. Of those working in the sports, fitness and leisure industry, 85% look forward to going to work every day, compared to 61% of those who work in customer service.
The average annual salary for employees across these sectors is £16,403 a year; male staff earn an average of £18,336 compared to their female counterparts, who receive £14,927. Respondents aged 65 or over take home an average wage of £16,046 versus younger staff, who earn £13,339 on average.
Claire Howard-Jones, chief marketing officer at Gumtree UK, said: “This research has highlighted that each generation of hidden heroes has different priorities when it comes to what they want to get out of work; employers should take note and tailor their approach based on who they want to recruit.”
Amber Rudd (pictured), secretary of state for work and pensions, added: “We in government are committed to helping these working heroes through increased learning and development opportunities, as well as improving diversity and inclusivity and reducing gender disparity in the workplace. Gumtree’s Hidden heroes report reflects how skills and training are vital to sustain our thriving employment rate and is a signal to all those unsung [employees] that their contribution is recognised and celebrated.”