Project underway to help region's over-50s at risk of long-term unemployment - The Rugby Observer

Project underway to help region's over-50s at risk of long-term unemployment

Rugby Editorial 7th Mar, 2021   0

AN INNOVATIVE project to help the over-50s most at risk of long-term unemployment is underway.

The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in Coventry and Warwickshire, the Black Country and Greater Birmingham and Solihull won funding from the Government’s Department for Work and Pensions to run the ten-week Mid-Life MOT programme.

The three LEPs will work alongside the National Careers Service, Public Health England and the Money and Pensions Service to focus on health, skills and finances.

A series of webinars, particularly targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), will be held over the next six weeks, starting every week from Monday (March 8) for individuals and Monday March 15 for employers.

Information and help about the Mid-Life MOT will be featured on the three LEPs’ websites and social media as well as promoted by a range of organisations and groups throughout the region including Growth Hubs, Chambers of Commerce, the FSB, redundancy taskforces and the newly-formed GBSLEP Skills and Apprenticeship Hub.

Marion Plant, vice-chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and chair of its Productivity and Skills Business Group, said this was an opportunity to promote, support and re-evaluate skills, health and wellbeing to SMEs and their 50-plus employees.

She said: “Employment for the over-50s has been adversely impacted over the last 20 years and it has been brought into sharp focus by Covid-19 which has highlighting the need for people to re-consider their career in a new sector, upskill or re-skill.

“The over-50s are at a higher risk of experiencing persistent long-term unemployment and worklessness compared to younger groups. This means that without early and targeted employment, careers and skills support they are unlikely to return to the labour market, and are at an increased risk of becoming long-term unemployed or economically inactive and fall into pensioner poverty.

“The Mid-life MOT will help to address and identify issues which need to be focused on as we move towards the recovery stage of the pandemic to equip older people with the skills needs for their future as well as benefit businesses in their recovery by increasing productivity through a higher-skilled workforce.”

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