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More employment opportunities for people aged over 50 needed says Assembly committee

16/07/2015

The Enterprise and Business Committee of the National Assembly for Wales has made a number of recommendations it feels are needed to create more employment opportunities for people aged over 50 in Wales.

There are just under 1.2 million people aged 50 and over in Wales and statistically Welsh people in this age group are less likely to be in work than in most other parts of the UK, with nearly 36% of people aged 50 – 64 years not in work.

Between November 2014 and February 2015, the committee carried out an inquiry into the employment opportunities for people over 50, including scrutinising the Welsh Government's Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-23.

The committee heard that long term unemployment is a real concern in this age group, with 37% of those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance have been doing so for more than 12 months, a greater percentage than any other age group in Wales.

William Graham, Chair of the Enterprise and Business Committee said:

"There is an urgent need to address the challenges faced by jobseekers over 50 in Wales.  People are living longer and will have to retire later meaning work is now a necessity not a choice for the majority of this age group. 

"We are calling for more research into the barriers to employment for those aged over 50.  For such a crucial policy area the lack of information is not acceptable, we cannot continue to rely on anecdotal evidence to plan the approach to tackling this issue."

Report by the Enterprise and Business Committee on Employment Opportunities for People Over 50 (PDF, 408KB)

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