Finished at 55? By Stephen Lambert for North East Bylines

Updated: May 25, 2021

Writing for North East Bylines, author Stephen Lambert highlights the all too over-looked plight of the unemployed and under-employed over 50's in our economy, a rapidly growing demographic for whom urgent action is needed to help them re-skill and re-enter the workplace.

"The stark reality is that more than a million people aged 50 to 64 remain ‘economically inactive’ and want a job. It’s estimated by the charity, Age UK, that 1.5m have been in this position in the last decade – more than 1m would work if some-one offered them a job. Some are women in their early sixties who can no longer access the state retirement pension at 60.

A recent study by the Centre for Ageing Better in conjunction with the Learning and Work Institute has shown that the number of over-50s claiming Universal Credit or Jobseekers Allowance has almost doubled since the COVID-19 crisis began. 304,000 were claiming these benefits in February. By July this had risen to 588,000. By Christmas this figure could hit over 1m! The research suggests the over-50s are less likely to find another job within six months. Only a third who lose their jobs find another one ‘quickly’ with 29% remaining jobless for more than 12 months.

It’s premature to write these people off. Many have had decades of valuable work and life experience. Many have useful transferable skills without realising it. The time is now to stand up for the Northern older worker."

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it.

Article by Stephen Lambert for NE Byline
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