Did you know? Many people share Government aim of longer working lives but need better help to do so. The employment support needed for over 50s is probably double that currently aimed at workless young people. Tips for policy makers and employment support providers to reduce economic inactivity amongst over 50s. Many people share the Government’s ambition of longer working lives but millions need better support to make this a reality. The BBC used a DWP survey when investigating the attitudes of older people towards work   The Results were positive with many wanting to keep their jobs beyond retirement age but less promising for those looking for work: More people, especially women, want to work longer – partly for the money and partly for the enjoyment of working (48% opting to continue full or part-time work between the ages of 65 and 70).  This tunes in with the “Fuller Working Lives” report  issued last year: Government wants people to work until they are 67. But nearly a quarter (23%) considered that employers had less favourable views of older workers – and some had experienced age discrimination. Those perceptions of employers views doubtless underpin the thinking of those who haven’t worked since turning 50: getting a job is difficult when you are older, your confidence is lower and your skills may be out of date. Over recent years, there has been understandable concentration on help for nearly 1.2 million workless young people (not in employment, education or training – NEET).  But there is clearly a need for at least equal attention and imaginative interventions for those at the other end of their working lives.  There are around 7.2 million aged 50-69 (2011 Census) The number of over 50s needing help is probably at least double that of NEETS when taking account of those claiming: JSA; ESA/IB - disability increases with age; those long-term sick, not working and not claiming. Getting more over 50s back in to long-term work is vital if they are to build up decent pensions and reduce future demand on publicly-funded health and care services.  So those developing policies and designing services will need: Much better local data about the work, health and skills situations of over 50s. Help for older people that will often need to be locally delivered, tailored, one-to-one support that: o Re-builds work confidence. o Re-directs career paths (including self-employment). o Re-trains and re-skills. o Takes account of increased levels of long-term health conditions/disability. o Improves health/condition management. o Increases ability to gain, sustain and retain work. Changes to employers' attitudes and behaviour towards older and disabled people. Inclusion publish regular summaries and analysis of the employment figures. Bouquet of the week. My thanks to Maggie for an outstanding birthday dinner at Restaurant 27 in Southsea.  Really excellent menu and service although her mis-reading of the “chocolate slob” was probably more accurate than we thought! Highly recommended after several visits. Yours greedily Penny Melville-Brown penny@laylands.co.uk
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