Older jobseekers are desperate to work to save for their retirement

Hundreds of thousands of older jobseekers would save for an occupational pension if they could find a job, according to the charity Age Concern.

It is calling on the government to act to help older jobseekers back into work so they can improve their quality of life and save for their retirement.

The warning comes as Age Concern launches a report showing that a lack of access to meaningful training, ageist attitudes, and not enough support, are just some of the reasons why almost a million over-50s who want to work cannot find jobs.

Many older people cited financial difficulties in later life as a major motivation for wanting to find work, with some needing extra cash to pay bills and others desperate to build up their pension before retirement.

The research was conducted through a series of focus groups at Age Concern employment projects across the country.

Some participants highlighted gaps in their experience, training and skills as a factor in their lack of success in finding work. Many participants also raised the lack of realistic advice and support available to them.

Gordon Lishman, the charity’s director-general, said: “The government wants people to work for longer to help to solve the looming pensions crisis. But unless it actually helps older jobseekers back into work, this won’t happen.

“The new age laws are a good starting point, but much more still needs to be done. Older people looking for work need far more practical and emotional support, and ageist attitudes must not be tolerated.”

The research recommends providing one-to-one personal support for older jobseekers from a trained worker, assessing their skills and experience and giving them realistic advice on potential jobs and training opportunities.

It also suggested short, paid work placements or trial work periods, to enable jobseekers to gain experience with employers, and support to improve access to IT.

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