Job seekers over the age of 50 will be given more one-to-one support to help them get into work, the Department for Work and Pensions has said.
It will invest £22 million in new measures to tackle unemployment among benefits claimants over 50, including more individual support at Jobcentres; the recruitment of 37 “50-plus champions” who will encourage more organisations to place over-50s into roles; and offering “mid-life MOTs” in Jobcentres to help those thinking abour retirement to take stock of their skills and finances and consider taking jobs that could boost their income.
Work coaches at Jobcentres will also help people over 50 navigate barriers that prevent them from seeking work, including informal care responsibilities. The DWP said 12% of men and 16% of women aged 55-64 provide some sort of informal care.
Employment minister Mims Davies said: “Older workers are a huge asset to this country, and there are currently more than 400,000 over 50s in roles than before the pandemic.
Recruiting older workers
“We’re increasing funding and support at every step of their journey up the career ladder, to ensure everyone gets the support they need to get into work, progress and use their experience to boost their earnings and plan for a better future.
“Helping people find the security of a stable income, through a job they can take pride in, is also one of the best ways for people to support their families during these challenging times.”
Last year the Resolution Foundation called for more support for people over 50 to find work, as it found they had been twice as likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic as those aged 25-49.
Employers are also facing challenges in finding and retaining talent, with The Open University finding that three in 10 employers had had to turn down work because of a shortage of staff.
Carole Easton, chief executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “Seeing DWP continue to recognise the importance of a bespoke approach to older workers is really welcome.
“We know that older workers face unique challenges, such as ageism in the workplace and a possible gap in skills compared to some of their younger counterparts, so we will gladly support any tailored action that begins chip away at these significant roadblocks standing in the way of older people accessing fulfilling work.”