Work and pensions high achievers receive awards

Department of Work and Pensions has celebrated the progress of its New Deal 50+
scheme by presenting awards to the highest achievers.

and Pensions secretary Alistair Darling marked the 60,000th New Deal by
recognising some of the clients who had achieved the highest level of IT

of the award winners had even gone on to become self-employed trainers with a
company that specialises in developing the skills of older people.

used the ceremony as a rallying call to encourage more over 50s to stay in, or
return to, full time work:

in Britain one in three people between the age of 50 and 65 is not in work. Too
many have been encouraged to take early retirement when they didn’t want or
need to. Almost half of those who retire early have to rely on social security
benefits for most of their income.

sums just don’t add up: if people spend up to a third of their lives in
education, and a third in retirement, then they only have a third in work to
support the rest," he said.

By Ross Wigham

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