One in three Blackpool jobseekers are over 50

Over 50s make up much of the jobless total in Blackpool
Over 50s make up much of the jobless total in Blackpool
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Nearly one in three jobseekers in Blackpool are aged 50 or over, new ONS data shows.

Think tank, International Longevity Centre UK, says older unemployed people are hampered by age discrimination and a lack of flexibility from employers.

In January, 4,165 people were out of work in Blackpool, of whom 1,225 were aged 50 or over claiming benefits linked to unemployment, either Job Seeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit.

The bulk of unemployed people in the area were aged between 25 and 49 – 2,320. Just 625 were between 16 and 24.

Dr Brian Beach, a senior research fellow at ILC-UK, which specialises in researching the impact of longevity on society, said few older people benefit from support in their job search.

He said: “The key barriers older people face are ageist attitudes and a lack of flexibility in working arrangements. Tackling age discrimination must be the number one priority.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said:

"Through the National Careers Service and personal work coach support at their local Jobcentre Plus, we are supporting older people to get the work they want regardless of their age.

"In addition, our Fuller Working Lives strategy is encouraging employers to recruit, re-train and retain older workers".

In Blackpool, the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits rose by four per cent in the year to January 2019, compared with a national increase of 23 per cent.

The ONS puts this rise down to the Universal Credit roll-out process.

A spokesman said: "Under Universal Credit, a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker's Allowance.

"As Universal Credit full service is rolled out in particular areas, the number of people recorded as being on the claimant count is therefore likely to rise."