Main Report - Page 3 of 10
Pre-employment training and real work experience placements that offers a good chance of a real full time job with that firm in the end is far more practical than what many would term unpaid slave labour or working for nothing schemes with no hope of a job in the end.
Jobcentre Plus will come under a far greater challenge when a significant number of 60 plus claimants seeking work increases in years to come and if not addressed now the end result will be poverty, misery and even mental health issues, due to lack of funds in the main, for people in this age range. Add any medical problems that they may have already to this situation and life is not going to be one many will be able to tolerate.
Therefore finding positive ways of helping people in this specific age range back into work, and done in a respectful way in recognition of their senior years, past work and life experiences and skills should be more of a priority than anything else.
There are other factors that will also affect the 60 plus claimant group. It is a known fact that older JSA claimants are more likely than younger claimants to experience long term unemployment or become economically inactive.
Figures researched show that more 50 plus Job Seekers will still be looking for work after a year than the younger age groups. In the case of the 60 plus age group many employers will not take that age range on as they will think of them as being retired in a short few years anyway or a risk with regard to any medical conditions that they may have.
With health and safety in the workplace being a concern to many employers these days it is not that surprising that they would worry about taking on an older person who could end up falling in the workplace or some other medical related accident. That being the case the 60 plus job seeker could find themselves still looking for work even longer than those in the 50 plus age range.
DWP research showed that those in the 60 plus age range were in part winding down to retirement.
The evidence suggested that there was a firmly held view amongst some older claimants that they were no longer interested in looking for part time work or full time work and that they had reached a state of semi retirement..
However it should be added at this point that this is not the case for all people in that age range as many still wish to remain active and of course the need to earn money to pay bills is very much of concern to them.
Advisers felt this view was most strongly expressed by claimants who were in closest proximity to State Pension Age. These claimants were willing to go through the motions of job search, but were in effect ‘winding down towards retirement’ and were content to live on JSA, (Job Seekers Allowance), until they became eligible for either State Pension or Pension Credit.
60 really is the magic number – it's when claimants really do change their mindset and stop thinking about work, or at least full time work, although there are many who still want to use their skills and experiences to help others, but not necessarily in work. ( Adviser Comment – Online Survey)
Advisers suggested that these claimants often questioned the logic of being put through training courses, placements and constant threats of sanctions for their age group, suggesting it was more relevant for younger claimants. Advisers noted that claimants in this position were extremely difficult to motivate and even more difficult to match to suitable jobs.
Despite increases to State Pension Age and Pension Credit eligibility, there was a prevailing view amongst claimants that ‘60’ was the point at which individuals should begin to wind down. This was often indirectly encouraged by the actions of advisers.
Respondents to the adviser focus groups stated that they would suggest that older claimants should contact the Pensions Service to investigate their eligibility for Pension Credit. The assumption being that Pension Credit for men aged 60 plus would remove them from JSA conditionality.