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A new pilot programme in Manchester aims to help over 50s back to work.
Older jobseekers in the Greater Manchester area will be the first to trial targeted new approaches being developed to help over-50s get back to work.
The Centre for Ageing Better, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Department of Work & Pensions have announced plans for the ‘Greater Manchester Employment Support for Over-50s’ pilot programme to improve support models for older people.
The pilot comes as research shows around 800,000 people in the UK aged 50 to 65 want to be working but are not and that losing a job after the age of 50 is more likely to lead to long-term unemployment or inactivity compared with job loss at younger ages. The knock-on impact of long-term unemployment and early retirement on income is significant.
Research by the Centre for Ageing Better in Greater Manchester last year found that older job seekers would benefit from personalised support that could be flexible around caring commitments and health needs.
The ‘Greater Manchester Employment Support for Over-50s’ pilot will focus on providing employment support that works for older job seekers, trialing a range of approaches with the aim of finding a successful model that can inform national government policy.
Kim Chaplain, Associate Director – Work, Centre for Ageing Better, said: “Work is profoundly important for a good later life, helping our minds to stay active, and allowing us to continue to earn income and increase our pensions.
“But too many people find themselves locked out of work in their 50s and 60s, meaning they miss out on the vital social connections we get from work, and putting them at risk of financial insecurity.
“We know that current job-seekers support could be enhanced for people over the age of 50, helping more people to get back to work and helping the economy at large. Figures show that improving employment rates for over-50s could increase GDP by £18 billion.
“This pilot is a vital opportunity to find effective ways to support people back into fulfilling work, and we hope this will lay the foundations for improving job-seekers support across the country.”