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PRIME Cymru Chief Executive, David Pugh, says it’s “incredibly important to recognise that older workers have been severely hit by the Covid crisis”.
He is calling on the Welsh Government to support older workers in the same way they have helped younger workers.
Data from the Resolution Foundation has found that the pandemic has caused a ‘U-shaped’ problem, with younger and older workers worst affected.
Although workers aged under 25 have seen the largest fall in employment, the fall among the over 50s is twice as much as those aged 25-49.
They found that older workers also take much longer to find a new job, with fewer than two thirds of over 50s returning to employment in the six months after losing work.
“We do not want to see a repeat of the high levels of unemployed older workers seen in the 1980s and so we call upon the Welsh Government to provide a support programme tailored to the needs of older workers, as they have provided for those in a younger age group”.
David Pugh said: “It has always taken older workers longer to secure alternative employment after redundancy and now it has been proven that when they do re-enter work they can be hit with a 9.5 percent pay cut compared to their previous employment.
“We do not want to see a repeat of the high levels of unemployed older workers seen in the 1980s and so we call upon the Welsh Government to provide a ‘U-shaped’ support programme tailored to the needs of older workers, as they have provided for those in a younger age group”.
HRH The Prince of Wales founded PRIME Cymru 20 years ago to provide focussed employment support for the over 50. This age group face many barriers including age discrimination, care responsibilities and deteriorating health.
With the added pressure of being less likely to find work quickly after redundancy and facing pay cuts, the over 50s need the Government to recognise their struggle and ensure that support is made available.