Wednesday, 30 September 2009

More help for older workers to find jobs?

Yvette Cooper, Work & Pensions Secretary announced yesterday at the Labour Party Conference that the G'ments Local Employment Partnership (LEP) schemes would be used to create more jobs for older people.

She announced that the government would treble the number of jobs it aimed to create through LEPs - from 250,000 to 750,000 - by the end of 2010.

The new LEP opportunities should be used to offer the over-50s personalised support from Jobcentre advisors to help them get back into the workplace.

There are now 370,000 people aged over-50 who are out of work - an increase of 50% over the past 12-months.

Tom Wright, chief executive of Age UK - formed in April after Age Concern and Help the Aged merged - warned that the support offered to older people through Jobcentre Plus 'routinely fails' the over-50s.

He said: "Some of the support currently offered through Jobcentre Plus routinely fails [the over-50s]. Many of those we spoke to said advisors make little effort to find them jobs to match their skills and experiences.

"We are calling for the government to do much more to improve the support offered by the Jobcentre Plus and to provide financial incentives to employers to take on people aged over-50, particularly those who have been out of work for six months."

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