It has always been difficult for older people, specifically the over 50s, who find themselves looking for employment. In a competitive job market, older people have traditionally been outnumbered. In addition, they are often out-qualified by younger people straight out of university who are often seen as more attractive to employers.
However, there is still a role to play for the older age groups. According to the UK Office for National Statistics the number of over 65s in employment has doubled since 1992 when records were first collated.
Despite this, many older people still find it difficult to find work and all the more so since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020. This is partly down to the fact that many of the businesses which traditionally employ older people, who make up a large proportion of the part-time economy, have gone out of business because of the pandemic. Consequently, people’s future retirement plans and financial security are now somewhat up in the air.
Government Help is Available
The DWP has put in place a number of initiatives aimed at helping older people through a period of employment and helping them back into work. These include the Job Finding Scheme, Restart, and the Work Academy Programme. Job Centres around the country have specialised personnel such as 50PLUS Champions, in place to help older workers transfer their skills into new sectors, and Work Coaches who are tasked with reminding employers of the vast range of skills older workers can bring to the local employment market.
What About Carers?
Those having to care for elderly relatives or children, and sometimes for both – the so-called ‘sandwich carers’ – have always found it more difficult than most to hold down normal working hours for an employer and fulfil their caring duties, as well as they, would like. On the face of it, the government is keen for employers to show flexibility in hiring older workers. The Department for Business, Energy, and Industry (BEIS) are studying how Carers Leave could work.
But whatever initiative is put in place the fact is that caring for someone while holding down an outside job is always going to be difficult for many reasons. That’s why more and more people who care for older relatives are considering companion care or live-in care as a viable alternative. This can work for a person wishing to care for a relative full-time, in which case a rewarding career as a full-time in-home carer could be the way forward to ease both financial and commuting pressure.
Live-in Care Career for an Older Worker
If there is one thing the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us is that being happy in a chosen field of work is what makes the world go round. The pandemic has kick-started many older people into re-evaluating their lives and considering a more fulfilling career.
Homecare services have seen a surge of interest from older workers looking to start again in a more rewarding environment where they can make a real difference in someone else’s life. Could this, in part, solve the employment issue for older workers? Time will tell, but there are certainly options for those who want them.