Men over 55 years of age, who have lost their job, have less than eight per cent chance of getting a new one, the London Assembly has heard.
At a meeting yesterday to discuss the effectiveness of careers guidance in the capital, Members of the Assembly's Economy Committee heard London's over 50s are facing a tough time in the job market - yet support and guidance aimed at getting them back to work has been "decimated".
A leading specialist in employment for people over 50 years spoke of new research, which revealed the over fifties accounted for over 60 per cent of public sector redundancies. He said the proportion of older people not in employment was enormous and the numbers that are long-term unemployed are growing.
He told the Committee that programmes aimed specifically at older people, previously funded by London Councils, had stopped and there was a definite need for specialist support for the over fifties to help them find new opportunities. He said jobs in customer services, sales, health and social care and training were particularly suited to the skills and experience of older people.
Andrew Dismore AM, Chair of the London Assembly Economy Committee, said:
"It’s a difficult time for anyone looking for a job, but we heard that London’s over fifties are really having a tough time of it. The capital stands to benefit from their vast knowledge and many years of experience, but this does not appear to be happening at the moment.
“A comprehensive careers guidance service in London should help guide our jobseekers, whatever their age, and go some way to addressing unemployment and skills gaps. We must make sure people are receiving high quality and relevant advice.”
Yesterday’s meeting was the first of two meetings on adult careers guidance in London. The Committee will next discuss the issue on Tuesday, 19 March 2013.
Notes to editors:
- Chris Walsh, Director of Wise Owls, referred to Age and Employment Network figures relating to a job that is full-time and permanent.
- Chris Walsh, Director, Wise Owls
- Read more about our investigation into adult careers guidance in the capital.
- Watch the webcast or read the full agenda papers for the meeting.
- Andrew Dismore AM, Chair of the Economy Committee, is available for interview. See contact details below.
- As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
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