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Skills of older workers go to waste as over-50s left on dole.

Byline: Alan Jones

OLDER workers are languishing on the dole after losing their jobs in the recession and not being able to find new ones, a new report warned today.

The TUC voiced concern about a "steady rise" in the number of people over 50 who were unemployed for more than six months, saying their skills and talents were going to waste.

Union leaders said they will be studying new jobless figures to be published tomorrow for any sign that older workers were still "trapped" in long-term unemployment.

Last month the number of older people out of work for longer than six months increased by 3,000 to 229,000, while those out of work for more than a year jumped by 11,000 to 134,000.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Every job loss is a human tragedy, but when people are out of work for over a year they risk being permanently scarred by joblessness.

"Long spells out of work can increase the likelihood of mental health problems and relationship breakdown, and devastate entire communities.

"People who have been unemployed for a long time have a much lower chance of finding work again. There is a real danger the UK's older working population is being left on the scrapheap.

"Government investment has kept unemployment well below the levels reached in previous recessions, but there can be no room for complacency.

"The Government should extend its job guarantee for young people to anyone out of work for 18 months to stop people getting mired in semi-permanent joblessness."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 16, 2010
Words:259
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