Wise Age Calls for the New Labour Government to Focus on Employment Support with Recommendations for Older Workers

London, UK – 08 July 2024– Wise Age, a leading charity specialising in employment support for Londoners aged 50 and over, welcomes the return of Sir Stephen Timms to the role of Work and Pensions Minister under the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Liz Kendall.

Focus on Older Workers Crucial

Wise Age emphasises the importance of addressing the specific needs of older workers within the government’s plan for jobs and employment support. The organisation previously presented evidence to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, chaired by Sir Stephen Timms, highlighting several key areas for improvement:

  • Regional Strategies: Wise Age calls for regional strategies tailored to older workers, involving local government, employers, and specialist organisations like themselves. A “one-size-fits-all” approach is insufficient.
  • Improved Needs Assessment: Better data and understanding of older workers’ diverse needs and barriers to employment are crucial. Wise Age warns against generalisations and ageist assumptions.
  • Tailored Support: Older workers require high-quality, localised employment support that addresses their specific needs. Generic programmes catering to all age groups are often ineffective.
  • Combatting Ageism: Wise Age identifies ageism as the elephant in the room. They urge the government to tackle age discrimination in recruitment, redundancies, and workplace culture.
  • Promoting Age-Friendly Employers: Encouraging employers to value older workers, eliminate ageism, and offer flexible working arrangements is essential.
  • Targeted Advice and Resources: Wise Age emphasises the need for carefully tailored advice and resources for older job seekers, delivered through appropriate channels.

Wise Age Offers Solutions

Wise Age offers its expertise and resources to support the government’s initiatives. The organisation’s Older Workers Charter and Age Diversity Declaration outline key principles for promoting age-friendly workplaces.

Funding Concerns for Specialist Providers

Wise Age expresses concern about the precarious funding situation for specialist organisations like themselves. The DWP bidding system, they argue, favours larger providers with generic programmes, potentially neglecting the effectiveness of customised support offered by smaller, specialised organisations.

A Call for Collaboration

Wise Age urges the government to collaborate with specialist organisations and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategy that addresses the specific needs and challenges faced by older workers in the job market.

Quote from Wise Age

Wise Age Trustee Peter Murphy said: “Sir Stephen Timms clearly understood the arguments I made on behalf of Wise Age to the House of Commons Select Committee on Work and Pensions last year. Wise Age hopes that the new government will produce a comprehensive strategy that addresses the specific needs and challenges faced by older workers in the job market.”


Peter Murphy, Trustee/Director, Wise Age Ltd. peter.murphy@wiseage.org.uk

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