Over-50s employment support

Findings from research in the West London Alliance sub-regional partnership

Bajorek Z, Dewar L, Wilson T |   | Institute for Employment Studies  | Oct 2023

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This report details the experiences of those over 50 accessing skills and employment support services in West London. The research was undertaken by IES in early 2023 and involved interviews with residents and professionals working within the system, as well as labour market analysis.

West London Alliance commissioned this research as the organisation has seen the number of older residents leaving the labour market continue to rise post-pandemic. 15% of West London residents between the ages of 50-64 claim Universal Credit compared with only 10% nationally. Within West London, rates of Universal Credit receipt among older people have grown in all boroughs, typically trebling since the eve of the pandemic.

The findings from this research will be used to support system improvements that meet the needs of residents aged over 50. The recommendations can be grouped into five main areas:

  1. More, better tailored 1:1 support to meet the individual needs of residents.
  2. Building front-line advisor skills and capabilities to support this cohort.
  3. Meeting additional support needs, for example, health requirements and specific digital upskilling.
  4. Employer engagement to ensure employers have age-friendly recruitment and retention in place.
  5. Co-ordination across services to identify any gaps in service, reduce any duplication and ensure smooth referral journeys through the system.