- Network of dedicated 50PLUS Champions across Great Britain is increased ahead of National Older Workers Week
- This builds on millions invested to support the over 50s into work as Minister for Employment and B&Q back older workers
The number of 50PLUS Champions helping older workers into work has been doubled in Jobcentres up and down the country, the Minister for Employment has announced.
Ahead of https://www.nationalolderworkersweek.co.uk, 77 50PLUS Champions – up from 37 – are now in place across England, Wales and Scotland, working directly with Jobcentres and employers to remove barriers that are keeping older people out of work.
50PLUS Champions work with jobseekers to change preconceptions about hiring older workers and ensure Jobcentre staff are supporting jobseekers to find roles or opportunities tailored to their skills to deliver for employers.
There are 83,000 more over 50s in work compared to this time last year. The DWP is supporting older jobseekers, with Midlife MOTs both online and in Jobcentres, helping people assess their skills and, make long-term plans for their work, wealth and wellbeing.
The news comes following a recent visit made by the new Minister for Employment, Jo Churchill, to B&Q’s New Malden branch. The company prides itself on having a multi-generational workforce with 35 percent of staff being over 50.
Minister for Employment, Jo Churchill MP said:
I know that work brings benefits to all ages, whether that’s improved wellbeing, making important friendships, or earning more.
As a Government, we are working hard to get more people into work and tackle inactivity.
Doubling the number of our 50PLUS Champions means even more jobseekers can access tailored support.
On this National Older Workers Week, I urge all businesses to step up and put age diversity at the heart of what they do.
Andy Moat, B&Q’s HR Director added:
We were delighted to recently welcome the new Minister for Employment to B&Q New Malden for her to hear at first hand from some of our older workers the benefits of working.
B&Q is a very multigenerational workforce, and we believe in creating an environment where people can grow, thrive, and truly be themselves.
We do this in many ways, including through our Apprenticeship programme, and we have Apprentices aged from 17 to 70 years studying to gain new knowledge and skills to help develop their careers, whilst continuing to earn the same rate of pay as others doing their role.
While in New Malden, the Minister saw first-hand how the business is supporting the over 50s into work, meeting with older Apprentices who highlighted the impact retraining can have on this age group.
The Government is investing £6 billion to tackle economic inactivity to get more people into work, including older people. This includes £2.5 billion announced this week as part of our Back to Work Plan, an ambitious package of employment support which will keep more people in work by helping them to manage their health conditions.
To mark National Older Workers Week, the DWP is organising numerous events across Great Britain, including jobs fairs in Oldham, Edinburgh, Bath and Newport all specifically targeted at jobseekers who are over 50.