Our opportunity to influence London's recovery and help older workers find work again
Our PAIL campaign to raise the issue of older people and their needs and concerns over London's Recovery plan seems to be making some headway. Now that the GLA / LRB have offered the wider community to have their say on the future priorities for London this is a great opportunity for as many of we seniors to raise the issues which concern us most.
From our discussions within PAIL but also with other age partners ( with whom we are working in the London Age Friendly forum - which we helped setup) there are a number ofissues we hope will be raised, but I would like to start with rising unemployment for older people.
In doing so I am also wearing my Wise Age hat - as we were the first voluntary agency in London to focus on age and employment (following on from our predecessor Wise Owls). There is rising concern about older working age people as the recession begins to bite as well as the lack of focus on older worklessness
1) older workers are in the forefront ( along with younger ones) of the rising wave of unemployment. There are nationally over 150,000 additional people now unemployed to add to the over 330,000 older people already on the unemployment register and the 3 million over 50s who are without work or formal government help.
This figure is going to rise further as the furlough scheme is ending ( unlike Germany) -, coupled with the ending of the self employed financial support is going to mean a lot more poverty among the over 50s workforce. Self employment and business entrepreneurship are key ways that older people ( and other excluded groups such as women and members of the BAME community) have been able to carry on working when traditional routes have been blocked.
If you couple this with the forced return to employment of those previously shielded ( and a high proportion for those with disabilities and underlying health conditions are 50+) then hard times are ahead and we need to push for more support for elders as well as continued support for younger working age people
Skills training, unemployment advice and guidance, apprenticeship and in house work training for both unemployed and those in work is needed at both ends of the age spectrum