Unemployment challenges for older jobseekers

Published on Friday, 12 August 2011 10:53
Posted by Scott Buckler

New research published today by DWP examines the experience of unemployment for older jobseekers

Unemployed people over 50 face particular challenges in the labour market.

They generally take longer to get back to work and are at greater risk of drifting into long-term unemployment or prolonged economic inactivity.

Additional support was introduced from April 2010 for Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants aged over 50 years of age.  The policy aim was to help and support older jobseekers to return to work.  Enhanced training for Jobcentre Plus Personal Advisers was introduced at the same time to support the changes.

The research suggests that older newly redundant claimants have a number of key barriers to work that stem from having long work histories e.g. the lack of a CV, lack of job application experience and lack of familiarity with the modern labour market and with online job application procedures.

Older jobseekers prefer one-to-one provision with Personal Advisers.  Work Trials are seen as effective in helping older claimants show their employability.  Flexibility in the timing of employment support interventions was seen as crucial in meeting the needs of older claimants.

The Work Programme was launched in June 2011 to help long-term unemployed people return to work through personalised support.

Jobcentre Plus will continue to support claimants early in their benefit claim.  From April 2011 advisers have had greater flexibility to address the needs of individuals and respond to the local labour market more effectively.

DWP has worked with Jobcentre Plus to build on these research findings to enhance training for personal advisers to ensure that employment programmes achieve the best possible outcomes for older jobseekers.

Source: DWP

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