14 Nov 2018
Being out of work affects your health, your finances and your social connections. If older jobseekers aren’t able to return to work, these impacts will last well beyond state pension age.
This year I've applied for 20 jobs and this was my first interview. I was heartbroken to find out I didn't get the job.
While there has been a steady increase over the last decade in the number of people over 50 in work, there is still a rapid fall in employment rates among people between 50 and the state pension age (SPA). By the year before people reach the SPA, over half are not in work. Business in the Community’s report The Missing Million highlighted that approximately 1 million people within this age group are ‘involuntarily workless’ – falling out of work before they wanted for a range of reasons including redundancy, caring responsibilities or ill health.
This group have more difficulty than any other group in returning to work. Analysis of the government’s Work Programme shows just 16.2% of people over the age of 50 are supported into a long-term job. That is a success rate of less than one in six – worse than any other group regardless of gender, ethnicity, or disability.
Those aged 50 and over face a range of barriers in getting back into work, including health, caring and ageism. We need a whole new approach, which tackles all these barriers in a joined up way, as well as creating more suitable and accessible job opportunities for people over 50.