The government has announced that £22 million will be invested in new measures to tackle unemployment among the over 50s. 

The package will give jobseekers over the age of 50 more one-to-one support at jobcentres. The support will focus on getting them into work, progressing in work, and boosting their earnings ahead of retirement.

Similarly, it was announced that there will be 37 “50PLUS Champions” who will cover every district across England, Wales and Scotland, and they will engage with local employers to educate them on the benefits of hiring older workers.

Finally, mid-life MOTs will be available at local jobcentres for those thinking about retirement and engaging them to take stock of their skills and finances.

Read the full government announcement here.

Response from ERSA:

ERSA welcomes the announcement of more intensive support for older workers. Due to the nature of the challenges this group faces, it is pleasing to see that the government have made it a priority to try and support older workers. This package may go some way to re-engaging many of the older population who have left the workforce in their thousands since the pandemic.

However, it is worth noting that these measures do not target the economically inactive over 50s that are not claiming benefits. The Office for National Statistics reported in March that only 23% of 50 to 59-year-olds, who left the workforce since the pandemic and had yet not returned, were receiving state benefits and therefore entitled to support from their local jobcentre.

This leaves a huge proportion of people who will miss out on this package. ERSA encourages the government to engage with specialist employment support organisations that have a track record of reaching those who don’t engage with the benefits system and will subsequently miss out on this support.

It is also worth checking out Tony Wilson’s thread on Twitter about the recent announcement.

Further information: 

Press release: New package of support to help over 50s jobseekers back into work

DWP Help and Support for Older Workers (gov.uk)

ERSA has a forum dedicated to the 50 plus agenda. Formed to bring all organisations interested in policy, delivery and campaigning to support the ageing workforce. In joint partnership with ERSA and the Centre for Ageing Better. Visit our forum page via ersa.org.uk/olderworkers

It is also worth checking out Tony Wilson’s thread on Twitter about the recent announcement.