Over-50s in England ‘prematurely shuffled out of labour market’


As you can see from these new figuresthe rising concern about older working age people as the recession begins to bite is well founded

As older people are being forced to wait longer and longer for their state pensions there are less and less jobs for them. Covid 19 means that now older workers are in the forefront ( along with younger ones) of the rising wave of unemployment. There are nationally over 150,000 additional people now unemployed to add to the over 330,000 older people already on the unemployment register and the 3 million over 50s who are without work or formal government help.

This figure is going to rise further as the furlough scheme is ending ( unlike Germany) -, coupled with the ending of the self employed financial support is going to mean a lot more poverty among the over 50s workforce. Self employment and business entrepreneurship are key ways that older people ( and other excluded groups such as women and members of the BAME community) have been able to carry on working when traditional routes have been blocked.

If you couple this with the forced return to employment of those previously shielded ( and a high proportion for those with disabilities and underlying health conditions are 50+) then hard times are ahead and we need to push for more support for elders as well as continued support for younger working age people

Skills training, unemployment advice and guidance, apprenticeship and in house work training for both unemployed and those in work is needed at both ends of the age spectrum.

Where age diversity is practiced as at B & Q and McDonalds there are benefits in profitability, productivity and the presence of elder workers helps the development and incorporation of younger people into the workforce. Also the silver economy is crucial to helping end the recession but will not take off again until older people’s positive role is understood and welcomed and they are given confidence that returning to work or shopping is really COVID safe.

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