Older Workers: Training and Vocational Guidance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 21st September 2021.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department provides to older jobseekers in (a) Coventry North East constituency, (b) Coventry, (c) the West Midlands and (d) England who are looking to (i) reskill or (ii) change careers.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Department’s plan for jobs provides funding to ensure that more jobseekers of all ages get tailored support, including to reskill or pivot sectors. That includes programmes such as the Job Finding Support service, Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) and the Restart scheme, to help them find work. The JETS scheme in particular helps jobseekers update their digital skills, job searching tools and to identify transferrable skills.

The UK government are also investing £2.5 billion in the National Skills Fund in England to aid The Lifetime Skills Guarantee. From April 2021, adults of any age over 24 who are looking to achieve their first full Level 3 will be able to access fully funded courses which will give them new skills and greater prospects in the labour market. The free online Skills Toolkit also provides online learning focused on digital, numeracy and employability skills.

For older jobseekers, a network of 50 Plus Champions provides dedicated support to Work Coaches across all 37 Jobcentre Plus districts to enable and encourage them to direct suitable Plan for Jobs and local support to claimants aged 50 and over. The Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers also spearheads the Government’s work to support employers to hire and re-train older workers, promoting the benefits of older workers to employers across England.

In addition, older jobseekers will also benefit from JCP support locally through the Flexible Support Fund (FSF) which allows jobcentres to put in place the right support for their community.

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