Employment and the over 50s

4th January 2013 by Emily

Yesterday, Age UK’s Head of Policy Jane Vass joined Jenni Murray on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour to discuss the growing issue of unemployment among over fifties, and the crucial role digital skills can play in upping job prospects.

While overall unemployment figures have dropped, in April last year, 256,200 over fifties were claiming Jobseekers Allowance – up 27,400 (12%) from 2011. The problem is keenest among women; while male unemployment dropped by 4,000 (among those aged 50-64), female joblessness hiked by 18,000. However, 735,000 older people want to work, and many are job hunting after redundancy or a long break.

In today’s tough times, employers use strict criteria to sift applications. For many, digital skills are a prerequisite. While 15% of people aged 50-64 have never been online, 72% of employers won’t interview entry level candidates without basic IT skills, and 25% only advertise jobs online.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are heaps of opportunities to gain or improve digital skills. Age UK runs UK wide computer courses, and UK online centres run classes for all ages.

Listen to the programme here for the next year.


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Go ON UK Communications Manager

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