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Unemployment trap more prevalent for over 50's in UK, charity says

Tue, 14th Nov 2017 16:53

(ShareCast News) - A charity has called for a radical rethink to combat chronic unemployment experienced by the over-50s in the UK.

The Centre For Ageing Better released a report on Tuesday highlighting that this age group experienced the so-called "unemployment trap" more than younger age groups and were more likely to be without work.

Currently, approximately a third of 50-64 olds in the UK are unemployed, the report said, with 27% recorded as "economically inactive".

Of that 27%, one million were out of work involuntarily, the charity added, due to issues such as ill health, caring responsibilities or redundancy.

Jemma Mouland, senior programme manager at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: "Too many older workers are currently being pushed out of the workforce because of poor health, caring responsibilities or redundancy. Once they have lost their job, over 50s struggle much more than any other age group to get back to work, which is costly personally and financially for them, with impacts lasting well into later life. Given that we are all working for longer and our workforce is ageing, we need urgent action to break this vicious circle.

"Our research finds that changes are needed at every level. It is not a problem that national government or employment and skills services alone can fix. Poor health and caring responsibilities are some of the most common barriers experienced by older workers, so it is important that health and benefits systems are more joined up and focused on helping those over 50 stay in work, or get back into employment. Employers too need to value their older workers more, offer them greater support and flexibility and stamp out ageist employment practices."

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