Over-50 jobseekers to get government support
The UK government has pledged to support older jobseekers and help them find work in a long-term economic plan to be enforced next year.
Employment minister Esther McVey believes “1.2 million unemployed over-50s is a waste of talent” and a missed economic opportunity.
Figures show one in four women and one in six men who reach the state pension age have not worked since they were 55.
McVey plans to tackle ageism in the UK workplace by offering assistance to older jobseekers.
She said: “Despite the recent impressive trends in those over 50 getting back into work, older workers still in many cases face outdated stereotypes when it comes to business hiring practices.”
Recent employment trends for older employees have improved, with almost 250,000 more aged 50 to 64 in work compared to a year ago.
However, there is clear evidence that it is more difficult for older people to find a new job if they lose their jobs later in life. Almost half of all those unemployed between 50 and 64 have been out of work for a year or more, compared with 33% for those aged 18 to 24.
McVey thinks that if unemployed over-50s were given support to find a job, it could add £50 billion to the economy. The scheme, to be launched in April, will give “intensive” work support to over-50s, including online skills and links to smaller firms with job vacancies. Older jobseekers will also be offered a “career review” with an expert.
Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb said: “It’s clear that old-fashioned and outdated perceptions still persist. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to support older workers to stay in the workplace and to help employers understand their value – and we’re now going to take that even further.”
Paul Green from Saga, which serves the needs of the over-50s, said: “Many employers recognise the great work ethic, experience and life skills that older employees offer. However, losing your job in later life can be devastating. Older people are more likely to become long-term unemployed than other age groups, so giving them help to reskill and get back into work will be hugely beneficial.”