EC targets over-50s to bolster workforce

The European Commission has stumped up £1.3m for a campaign to encourage the over-50s back to work.

'Fair Play for Older Workers' will pilot across the UK, Greece, Holland, Spain and Hungary over the next 12 months. If successful,
the EC will commit extra funding for a roll-out from October 2006.

The Fair Play Partnership, a not-for-profit group that lobbies for equality and diversity in the workplace, is leading the UK campaign.

It has hired Yorkshire-based Jeni Cropper & Associates to promote the programme in the UK after a three-way competitive pitch.
Currently, 70 per cent of people aged between 50 and the state pensionable age are in employment, but the Government wants to increase that figure to 80 per cent.

'The older generation can often lack confidence in returning to work, particularly if they have been unemployed for a while. Yet they are more likely to stay in a job, are more reliable, loyal, experienced and hard working, and tend to be more conscientious,' said Cropper.
The campaign will target local, regional and trade media to promote information packs available to potential employees and employers.

The Fair Play Partnership teamed up with employment service Jobcentre Plus to create the packs. They contain self-assessment tools that allow older job seekers to see how their skills relate to employers' requirements.

'This campaign is about being able to work if that's what you want or need to do,' said Fair Play manager Emma Jones.

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