August 6, 2012 1:30 am Published by

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) this week published their findings from research considering the capability of Jobcentre Plus to support jobseekers in their 60’s.

 The Jobcentre Plus caseload is forecast to age over the next decade due to a combination of demographic change, increases to State Pension Age (SPA), SPA equalisation for men and women, and the gradual withdrawal of Pension Credit eligibility in line with equalisation. For the first time there will be significant numbers of 60+ claimants seeking work.

DWP’s research reveals that the most significant factors affecting the move back into employment are a lack of modern job search skills, limited IT proficiency and limited experience of searching and applying for jobs online.  Other issues include unrealistic wage expectation, a narrow focus in terms of job search, outdated qualifications and certification and for many, low levels of confidence and a belief that they are being discriminated against because of their age.

 The report concludes that good practice already exist in terms of tackling some of the barriers faced by older jobseekers, but many advisers want access to additional provision that focuses on needs of older people, addressing: perception of and attitudes to work, transferable skills, IT skills and knowledge of modern jobs search, provision delivered in age specific peer group sessions, need to update or gain accreditation for existing skills.

 Jobcentre Plus Advisers felt they would benefit from additional training on the changes being made to SPA, as this would allow them to more confidently engage in discussion about future benefit eligibility for claimants in their 60’s.

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