ERSA Responds to government package of support for older workers

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 (

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

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


Event: Improving the recruitment of older workers

The UK job market is currently going through dramatic changes, especially due to the effects of COVID-19 and Brexit, with reports of shortages in many sectors. And yet we know that 36% of 50-69 year olds feel at a disadvantage applying for jobs due to their age. In addition to giving older workers a fair chance to progress, age-friendly recruitment could be an important strategy for employers, by tapping into an experienced, diverse workforce.

This joint event, by the Centre for Ageing Better and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), will present the findings of the research programme Good Recruitment for Older Workers (GROW) and should be of interest to employers, recruiters, HR practitioners, policymakers and labour market researchers.

Join us as we look at ways to reduce age bias and discrimination in the recruitment process.

  • Chair: Kim Chaplain, Associate Director for Work, Centre for Ageing Better
  • Beth Mason, Institute for Employment Studies
  • Johnny Runge, NIESR
  • Johannes Lohmann, Behavioural Insights Team

This event will take place online, 30 September from 10 – 11.30am. 

Book now

Read more about the Good Recruitment for Older Workers (GROW) via Centre for Ageing Better

Understanding the transition to civilian life for ex-Service personnel with physical conditions as a direct result of Service or acquired whilst in Service

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The University of Central Lancashire and others have published an interim report of the project ‘Understanding the transition to civilian life for ex-Service personnel with physical conditions as a direct result of Service or acquired whilst in Service’.

This is the interim report from a two-year project (2019–2021) that represents the first substantive qualitative longitudinal research exploring how Service leavers experience the transition to civilian life when they have left the UK Armed Forces with a physical injury or condition. Please find the report attached, and you can download the report and read a summary by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) here.

The project aims to provide an understanding of the support and provisions that are available during the transition into civilian life (including benefits and financial compensation, education and training, employment, health and housing) and make recommendations for further or better support that could be offered to this cohort during the transition from the UK Armed Forces.

In this report we highlight some of the challenges experienced by service personnel, such as the processes of discharge and transition, and the impact of a physical condition on their mental health and family lives. The report also identifies crucial requirements for successful transition, including the importance of adequate time, and the need for both financial security and personalised support.

The report has been published following one round of qualitative interviews with ex-Service personnel who have left the Armed Forces with a physical injury or condition, together with consultations with key stakeholders. A round of interviews is currently being conducted with those who are in the process of leaving Service, as well as partners and carers of those who have left Service, and there will be subsequent follow-up interviews with both cohorts of Service leavers to provide an in-depth understanding of the process of transition over time.

Call for participants
We are still seeking to recruit a number of personnel who are still in Service, and who are going through the process of transition. A project recruitment ad can be downloaded here, and the sign up form is here

The project is a collaboration between the University of Central Lancashire and the University of Salford, and is funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT). Correspondence and queries should be directed to Celia Hynes: