By Andrew Thomas and Alison Pemberton
With removal of the Default Retirement Age and the rise in State Pension Age, there is an expectation that people will in future have longer working lives. This presents a challenge to Jobcentre Plus in that it can expect an older client base in coming years.
This report presents the findings from a qualitative research study, carried out by Insite Research and Consulting, looking at the effects of measures introduced in April 2010 to help Jobcentre Plus advisers deliver an enhanced service to those aged over fifty and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
The additional support introduced for the 50+ took the form of three voluntary measures: access to work trials from day one; entitlement to an extra 30 minutes of adviser time; and eligibility to be fast tracked to Stage 3 of JRFND. Enhanced adviser training was introduced at the same time to support the changes.
The research was carried out between October and December 2010 and comprised 100 in depth, face to face interviews: five with Policy staff at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and implementation staff in Jobcentre Plus; 35 with Jobcentre Plus advisers in seven districts in England, Scotland and Wales; and 60 with JSA claimants aged over 50 years who had experienced one of the voluntary measures in the six months prior to their interview.