Celebrating £500K investment in over 50s employment support

Speakers at event with Cllr Chowdhury

Speakers at the event with Cllr Chowdhury

Supporting people aged 50 and over was the highlight of a stakeholder event to celebrate the Council’s £500,000 investment into helping residents into employment.

Hosted at Whitechapel Town Hall, the Council’s Supported Employment team showcased two key programmes that have contributed to this growth, the 50 Plus Programme and Business Futures Scheme.

Launched in February 2023, the 50 Plus Programme supports local residents, aged 50 and over, return to work or gain experience in a new industry.

The programme offers six-month paid placements, on the London Living Wage, with part-time or full-time hours across a variety of industries. The aim of the programme is to prepare residents for the world of work by boosting their confidence and learning new IT skills.

Participants are also expected to obtain the necessary skills during work placements which are needed to overcome challenges upon returning to work.

Trudy Wilton, a Client Support Advisor who participated in the 50 Plus Programme said:

“I was over 50, with a big work gap and some health issues. It seemed an impossible hill to climb to get back into work. WorkPath inspired me to believe that this might be possible and guided and supported me back into full-time permanent employment”.

The Business Futures Scheme is aimed at residents aged 50 and over who have ambitions to start their own company.

In partnership with Start Up School for Seniors, the Council has delivered a fully sponsored, eight-week eLearning course for aspiring Tower Hamlets entrepreneurs which will start on 11 May.

Along with learning, applicants will have the chance to apply for a £5000 grant on completion of the programme.

Councillor Abu Chowdhury, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Growth, said:

“We know that the jobs market was hugely impacted by the pandemic and that our older workers were particularly affected. That is why we have taken the time to mark these two incredibly important programmes, both of which strive to remove the barriers for long-term unemployed older residents which will allow them to gain access to the labour market.

“Returning to the workplace can have many benefits, it can boost independence, overall wellbeing and reduce loneliness. There are many pathways into employment, from apprenticeships to volunteering schemes, and I can’t wait to see what more we can achieve in improving the experience for those growing older in Tower Hamlets.”

Posted on Thursday 4th May 2023