Jobcentre aims to get over-50s back in work

PUBLISHED: 12:30 01 July 2015

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UNEMPLOYMENT figures in Weston have fallen so much the Jobcentre says it now ‘has time’ to focus its efforts on getting a target group, the over-50s, back into work.

In May, 851 Weston people claimed JobSeekers’ Allowance (JSA), which compares to 946 the month before and amounts to a reduction of 657 in a year.

The number of Weston JSA claimants equates to 1.3 per cent of the population. The average level across the rest of England stands at 1.7 per cent.

Altogether, the number of jobseekers in Weston has more than halved since 2010.

Jobcentre manager James MacNaughton said: “The economy is up, so that helps with people finding work. We are getting good results, people are signing off and it gives us more time to work with claimants who need more help or more assistance. It gives us time to focus on a group.”

That means Jobcentre staff are now looking to target specific areas of unemployment.

Mr MacNaughton said: “We have a look at the claimants we have got and what we can do to help.

“Previously we tailored our support to getting young people into work and that was a success, so now we are looking at getting the 50-plus back into work.”

The Jobcentre is launching a number of new schemes to help achieve that objective, such as running new group sessions with employers to highlight the benefits of recruiting older workers.

Mr MacNaughton said: “We are also hosting an IT triage with our new claimants, working 
with Weston College. We have 
had a look at IT provision and some people, perhaps because they are embarrassed, are afraid to admit they don’t have any IT skills.

“We have set up an online system which will assess a person’s IT needs and then we refer them to the college and they work with them.

“This assessment takes any self-consciousness out of it, and so far we are getting some good results.”

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