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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Older Workers

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL537, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that elderly workers are not disproportionately impacted by the ending of the furlough scheme.

Answered on

8 June 2021

The Department is committed to supporting any workers who do become unemployed after the end of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, including over 50s jobseekers, who can benefit from a range of special support. As part of the 50 plus: choices agenda, we have created a network of 50 PLUS Champions (formerly Older Claimants Champions) throughout all of the 37 Jobcentre Plus districts, who work collaboratively with Work Coaches to raise the profile of over 50s claimants, highlighting the benefits of employing them and sharing best practice.

The Department is also piloting 50+ mentoring circles in England to address any confidence barriers experienced by over 50s claimants and to support them in moving into new jobs, particularly where their sectors have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

More broadly, the Department is supporting people of all ages back into work through the Plan for Jobs. This provides new funding to ensure more people of all age groups get tailored Jobcentre Plus support to find work, including through building new skills.

The Government also aims to increase Sector based Work Academy programme placements, which provide unemployed participants of all ages with training, work experience and a guaranteed interview for a real job. We are also investing £238 million into Job Entry: Targeted Support (JETS) to offer enhanced support to those who have been made unemployed for three months.

During the Covid-19, we have been working with employer organisations such as Chartered Institute of Professional Directors, British Chamber of Commerce, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and Local Enterprise Partnerships to encourage small and medium enterprises to retain informal carers in the workforce, many of whom are 50 or over, to benefit both the business and the employee.