The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offers a variety of support to help older workers to stay in, progress and return to work. This includes:
Support in the jobcentre
Intensive tailored support is available for eligible Universal Credit jobseekers during the first nine months of their claim. This gives work coaches more time to spend with older jobseekers who have recently become unemployed to tackle any barriers they face in finding work. Work coaches can also offer claimants additional opportunities through Restart, Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) (external website), mentoring circles and 50 Plus job fairs.
50 Plus Champions
A network of full-time 50 Plus Champions are in every Jobcentre Plus district across Great Britain. These champions collaborate with work coaches to support older jobseekers. They also engage with employers and stakeholders to raise awareness of the barriers which older people may face in accessing work.
DWP has developed a Midlife MOT across jobcentres to help people in their 40s and 50s in and out of work to review and take stock of their finances, skills and health. A digital MidLife MOT (external website) has also been launched and the department is also trialling a number of private sector MidLife MOT’s across the country.
Returnerships is a Government campaign targeted at older workers, which brings together existing skill programmes to support better access to re-training opportunities. Returnerships will promote accelerated Apprenticeships, Skills Bootcamps and SWAPs.
- Apprenticeships are jobs with training that can be used by learners of all ages and all career stages to gain valuable skills, retrain or reskill.
- Skills Bootcamps (external website) are free and designed in partnership with local employers to help fill job vacancies. These flexible courses last up to 16 weeks and allow those taking part to gain in-demand skills employers are looking for, with the offer of a job interview on completion.
- SWAPs are an opportunity for benefit claimants to learn new skills and get experience of working in a particular industry such as care or construction. The programme is designed to help jobseekers, who are claiming Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance, to build confidence, improve job prospects and enhance their CVs’.