Department for Work and Pensions
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New package of support to help over 50s jobseekers back into work

The government yesterday announced millions of pounds of new measures to tackle unemployment amongst the over 50s on benefits.

  • New measures set to help quarter of all jobseekers get back into work
  • Multi-million package will increase jobcentre support for over 50s including those thinking about retirement
  • Long term unemployed will be referred to the multi-billion-pound Restart Scheme which is already supporting a quarter of a million back into work

The new support follows ministers meeting their target to get half a million people into work in under six months, as part of the Way to Work jobs push launched in January.

Keeping up the momentum, £22 million will be invested in new measures to tackle unemployment amongst the over 50s on benefits, as a stable income is the best route for people to support themselves through challenging times.

Jobseekers over the age of 50 will have more one-to-one support at jobcentres to help them get into, and progress in work, boosting their earnings ahead of retirement.

This increased support will be boosted by 37 50PLUS Champions covering every district across England, Wales and Scotland who will work with local employers to help them realise how their recruitment could benefit from the talent of older workers.

Mid-life MOTs will also be available in jobcentres, targeting those thinking about retirement and engaging them to take stock of their skills and finances, and consider taking jobs that could boost their incomes based on their skills experience.

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP 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.

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.

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.

Research shows that people over 50 are more likely to have caring responsibilities, with 12% of men and 16% of women aged 55-64 providing informal care and increased support from Work Coaches will help them navigate these barriers.

With the economy back on its feet, and the demand for experienced staff, the advice will help older workers make the right choice for them. And for those who have been out of work for nine months, the government’s Restart Scheme will provide a year of intensive support to get them back on the career ladder.

One year since its launch, the Restart Scheme is already seeing the first jobseekers take up work and leave the scheme and is currently supporting a quarter of a million people get the skills they need to re-enter the workforce.

This is part of the government’s renewed focus on growing the economy and helping people find work and boost their earnings.

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