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Unemployment: Older People

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL13212, tabled on 9 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the unemployment rate of those aged 65 years old and over; and what steps they are taking to reduce that rate.

Answered on

24 February 2021

The employment rate for people aged 65 and over has dropped from 11.6 per cent at the start of the pandemic to 10.9 per cent in November 2020.

To support people aged 65 and over to return to work, the Government’s Plan for Jobs provides new funding to ensure more people, get tailored Jobcentre Plus support to help them find work and to build the skills they need to get into work. This includes £895 million to recruit an additional 13,500 Work Coaches which the Department is on track to achieve by March 2021; a £150 million increase in the Flexible Support Fund which will also boost the capacity of the Rapid Response Service to help those facing redundancy move into other jobs; and £10 million for a new online support service that will provide tailored one-to-one job finding support to the recently unemployed.

The Government also aims to triple the number of sector-based work academy programme placements, supporting unemployed claimants of all ages through training and work experience to find a job. We are also investing £238 million into Job Entry: Targeted Support (JETS) to offer new support to those who have been made unemployed for three months.

To support the long term unemployed, in the Spending Review 2020, Government has also announced the Restart programme that will provide intensive and tailored support to over one million people and help them find work.

The Department also has a network of 50 PLUS Champions throughout all of the 34 Jobcentre Plus districts. These Jobcentre Plus staff work collaboratively with Work Coaches to raise the profile of over 50s claimants, highlighting the benefits of employing them and sharing best practice.