Work and pensions high achievers receive awards

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

Work
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
skills.

Some
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.

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

"Today
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.

"The
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.

www.dwp.gov.uk/index.htm

By Ross Wigham

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