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Back into employment

Older Workers

There are a number of programmes and initiatives that may be of interest to older people seeking work. These include:

Training for Work

If you are looking to update your skills to help you get a job then the Training for Work (TfW) programme may be able to help.

TfW is the Scottish Executive's training programme for unemployed adults and aims to help people improve their work related skills through the provision of appropriate training and structured work activity in line with assessed needs.

Participation in the programme is voluntary and there is no upper age limit for joining the programme. If you are 50 or over you may be able to take part immediately. Advice on Training for Work eligibility and on the opportunities that are available locally can be obtained from your local Jobcentre, LEC or from TfW suppliers who advertise in your area.

The programme is delivered by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise through the Local Enterprise Company (LEC) network.

Careers Scotland

Careers Scotland is the UK's first national all age guidance service. Established in April 2002, it brings together the roles previously undertaken by 80 organisations and provides a comprehensive, co-ordinated and free guidance service for people of any age across Scotland.

Careers Scotland has offices all over the country, or you can access information on the Careers Scotland website. This interactive site provides information on learning, training and work opportunities and has links to many other related websites.

The service is there to help anyone - whatever their age. Other services, such as learndirect scotland can also help you acquire new skills.

New Deal 50 plus

New Deal 50 plus was launched in April 2000. Operated by Jobcentre Plus, this programme is available throughout the country to meet the needs of older people who are looking for practical help to find work. To be eligible for New Deal 50 plus you should be aged 50 or over, not working and claiming certain benefits for at least six months.

You can choose to have one-to-one personal advice - a wide range of practical help from a Personal Adviser that suits your needs, such as help with job search skills, costs for travelling to interviews, access to Training for Work and work trials.

There is also a range of help specifically for people with disabilities, and assistance for those wishing to become self employed. In addition New Deal 50 plus also offers financial incentives to those returning to work. From 6 April 2003, those moving into employment will be able to apply for a return to work credit paid under the Working Tax Credit.

The Working Tax Credit is a payment to top up the earnings of working people, including those that self employed. Personal Advisers will be able to offer help and advice about claiming these credits.

A Training Grant of up to £1,500 may also be available when you start work. This can be claimed up to two years after you started to receive the Employment Credit or return to work payment.

If you are interested you can visit or telephone your local Jobcentre, or download the booklet, Putting yourself in the picture, which explains New Deal 50 plus in more detail. If you wish to find out more about the Government's Code of Practice on Age Diversity in Employment or the campaign in tackling age discrimination and promoting age diversity in the workplace, visit the Age Positive website.