This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Members of Parliament'.



 
 
 
 
 

Your ref: XX/XXXXXXXXX/XXXXXXXX 
Our ref: POS(2)11195/XX 
 
Sheila Gilmore MP 
 
xxxxxx.xxxxxxx.xx@xxxxxxxxxx.xx 
28 November 2011 
 
 
 
Dear Sheila 
 
Thank you for your letter of 15 November to the Secretary of State on behalf of 
XXXXXXXXXXXX regarding help and support available to people over 50 to 
find employment. I am replying as the Minister for Employment. 
 
Jobcentre Plus offers a range of programmes and support to help people of all 
ages find employment. Currently, the range of support is supplemented by 
some additional measures to help older people who are struggling to find work 
because of the recession. People over 50 who feel that their age is preventing 
a swift return to work can have earlier access to more intensive help from 
advisers where needed. We have delivered new training for advisers which 
helps them to understand more about the value of keeping older people in 
work and how to give better help. Jobcentre Plus also identifies professional 
and executive jobseekers who need help with jobsearch and will signpost them 
to specialist recruitment agencies when appropriate. 
 
We have announced plans for radical reforms of the welfare to work system 
which will begin with the introduction of the Work Programme. People out of 
work and claiming benefits, including older people, will have access to a fully 
integrated and coherent system of back to work support for the first time. The 
Work Programme will be personalised, with the support supplied being 
determined by front line providers based on the needs of individuals. 
Jobcentre Plus will provide personalised support to customers before they join 
the Work Programme, through additional options which include regular face-to-
face meetings and flexible support from advisers. Most customers will receive 
this help for 12 months, though some may move on to the Work Programme 
more quickly. 
 
Work Programme providers are free to design support based on individual and 
local need and will be paid primarily for supporting claimants into employment 
and helping them stay there for longer than ever before, with higher payments 


 
for supporting the hardest to help. For the first time providers will be paid partly 
out of the benefit savings they help to realise when they support claimants into 
sustained employment, tying what the Department pays them to what they are 
being paid for. The Work Programme is now in place nationally. 
 
The Employment pages of the government website www.direct.gov.uk provide 
practical advice about applying for work. The Pensions and Retirement 
Planning pages have information for older people about looking for work. You 
may also find the websites for The Age and Employment Network 
(www.taen.org.uk) and the Third Age Foundation (www.thirdage.org.uk) 
helpful. Though neither provides a job brokering service, you may find their 
employment information and advice of help. 
 
XXXXXXXX’s comments relating to Working Tax Credits are a matter for HM 
Revenue and Customs. I am therefore copying your correspondence to that 
Department so that Ministerial colleagues there are aware of these concerns 
and can look into them. 
 
I hope this is helpful to XXXXXXX.  
 
With best wishes, 
 
 
Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP 
Minister for Employment