Northern Ireland

£1.9m scheme announced to help over fifties get into work

The scheme was announced by the Department for Communities and will be open to 50-64-year-olds

Gordon Lyons said no ‘funding package was currently in place for Casement Park
Communities Minister, Gordon Lyons, has welcomed the funding. (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Department for Communities (DfC) has announced a new £1.9 million scheme aimed at boosting job opportunities for those aged over 50.

The JobStart 50+ scheme is set to provide around 180 jobs across a variety of sectors for those aged between 50 and 64 who are unemployed or economically inactive.

It will ‘mirror’ the department’s JobStart programme for 18 to 24-year-olds.

The news has been welcomed by the Minister for Communities, Gordon Lyons.

“This additional funding provides us with a significant opportunity to enhance the life chances of the over-50 age group who have found it difficult, for a range of reasons, to enter or re-enter the labour market,” he said.

“The funding will make a real difference in helping people overcome those challenges and provide the practical support needed to build confidence and skills to maximise employability.”

He added that it would provide “further insight on the particular challenges” faced by this age group, as funds are also to be used to assess the impact of job support programmes for over fifties.

The opportunities provided on the scheme will aim to develop participants’ skills and increase the likelihood of long-term employment.