People aged over 50 who lose their jobs are significantly more likely to fall in to long-term unemployment than other age groups. We want to make sure people receive the right support to get back into work.
The pandemic has led to a big rise in the number of people aged 50-64 who are out of work. Many more people in their 50s and 60s are not working nor looking for work: they have left the workforce altogether.
Some might have stopped working for health reasons or because they need to care for someone else. Others may want to work but are struggling to find a job that fits their needs. Our research from before the pandemic shows that older workers who lose their jobs are more than twice as likely as other age groups to be unemployed for at least two years.
And the pandemic has made things worse for many older workers – a third of people made redundant during the pandemic were aged over 50. We’re testing a number of ways to provide more effective employment support for people aged 50 and over. This includes better training for work coaches; better support for older workers facing redundancy, and tailored help for people who have fallen out of the labour market completely.
The Upskilling employability workers project, a programme in Greater Manchester which trained employability workers in how to better support older jobseekers, was created to address the barriers to employability faced by older age groups.