PRIME Cymru welcomes the Government’s announcement of an additional £500 million to support people into jobs.
In addition to the extension of the Kickstart Scheme for young workers, the UK Government has promised extra help for those leaving furlough and the unemployed aged over 50.
The Department of Work and Pensions said: “This new package will ensure older workers will receive better information and guidance on later life planning, helping them make informed choices and supporting them to plan their career and remain in work.”
We know that this age group has been hit very hard by the pandemic, with recent research showing that nearly 600,000 more over 50s are now unemployed or economically inactive compared to two years ago.
This targeted support is well needed for the 543,700 over 50s that were still on furlough at the end of July, putting them at high risk of redundancy or forced early retirement.
PRIME Cymru Chief Executive, David Pugh, said: “I welcome Mr Sunak’s announcement of additional £500 million to support unemployed over-50s back into work and help those workers now facing the end of the furlough scheme.
“As we have seen, the largest percentage increase in workers remaining on furlough has been those in the 50 plus age group, so I am concerned that in the coming weeks we will see many more of this age group forced to join the ranks of the unemployed or become economically inactive.
“We must ensure that this age group is prioritised for assistance and that this results in increased tailored programmes in Wales to support this group back to work speedily before we lose vital skills and experience from our workforce forever.”
PRIME Cymru specialises in supporting those aged over 50 back into employment, to set up a business or to develop skills through training or volunteering.
We will continue to offer this support across Wales and advocate for the appreciation of our older workers, whose wealth of skills and experience is largely underestimated in the job market.