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Unemployment: Older People

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL7893, tabled on 7 September 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent long term unemployment among older workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

21 September 2020

We are providing £1.2 billion to enhance work search support service in Great Britain which includes doubling the number of frontline Work Coaches in Jobcentre Plus before the end of the financial year. We are also increasing the flexible support fund which includes extending the Rapid Response Service, tripling the number of Sector Based Work Academy placements in England, and expanding the work and health programme to deliver Job Entry: Targeted Support. Further, the Job finding support service will provide tailored one-to-one job finding support to the recently unemployed. Older claimants will have access to all these programmes to help them with their job search.

Jobcentre Plus Older Claimants Champions work with Work Coaches to deliver Jobcentre Plus’ commitment to support older people to find work and stay in work. Champions liaise with employers and providers to promote and raise the profile and benefits of employing older workers.

A new programme of support for the long-term unemployed is currently under development by the department. This will be launched in 2021.

The department has also been working with employer organisations – including the Chartered Institute of Personal Development, British Chambers of Commerce, The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Government Business Champion for Older Workers – to reach small and medium enterprises by hosting webinars to spread important messages about the need to support their older workers in order to retain them in the workforce and maintain their well-being and productivity.