Main Report - Page 1 of 10
The following main featured article is based on surveys, research and reports and is aimed at being a simple and clear to understand guide to the problems faced by not only those seeking employment who are aged 60 plus years old but also to those who work for the Department Of Works And Pensions, (DWP), job centres and agencies that have been given the task of helping jobseekers within that age group.
Sixty really is the magic number when it comes to being in active work and is very much a challenge for both people of that age to get back into work and for those trying to help them complete that very difficult task.
Due to changes and increases to the State Pension Age in the UK there will be for the very first time a significant number of 60 plus claimants seeking work on a grand scale, the likes of which, not seen before.
Despite the growing importance of this age group little is truly known about how to help them and what additional needs they may have.
Therefore does Jobcentre Plus have a support structure in place ready for a growing number of people in their 60’s who need to find employment?
Based on research carried out before and during 2012 Jobcentre Plus advisors and managers highlighted a number of key issues. This research also included job seekers aged 55 plus, employers and other DWP studies.
The aim of this article is not to just simply repeat what others have said but to highlight the ongoing difficulties and what kind of steps should be taken to resolve the problems faced by not only those trying to find work but also by those who have the task of helping them.
With some claimants being highly motivated and engaged in moving into work again others, for various reasons, are less engaged with job search methods.
There are a number of factors affecting the abilities of 60 plus claimants to move back into employment, most significantly a lack of modern job search skills, limited IT proficiency and limited experience of searching and applying for jobs online.
Other issues affecting a return to employment include unrealistic wage expectations, a narrow focus in terms of job search, outdated qualifications and certification, and for many people in this age range who are struggling to find a job, low levels of confidence and a belief that they are being discriminated against because of their age, which in some situations is the case.
Good practise already exists in terms of tackling some of the barriers faced by older job seekers but many advisers wanted to see access to additional provision that focuses on the needs of older people. Such things as addressing perceptions and attitudes to work, transferable skills, IT skills and knowledge of modern jobs search methods, provision delivered in age specific peer group sessions and a need to update or gain accreditation for existing skills were the main items in question.
In addition to such things an assessment of the person's physical fitness should be taken into account in a far more specific way also, and any other relevant medical conditions that often a person in this age range may have, as such things could affect the type of jobs that they can apply for. They may be thought of as fit for work but some medical or age related conditions will be an important factor when it comes to certain types of work.
Jobcentre Plus Advisers felt that they would also benefit from additional training themselves with regard to helping to find job positions for people in this age group and how better to deal more specifically with such claimants as this age group faced a specific range of age related barriers to employment.