One in four jobseekers in West Lindsey is now aged over 50

More than one in four jobseekers is now over 50
More than one in four jobseekers is now over 50

More than 350 jobseekers in West Lindsey are now over 50, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics.

The data shows that in January, there were 1,380 people out of work and claiming benefits linked to unemployment, either Job Seeker's Allowance or Universal Credit in West Lindsey.

Of these 360 were aged 50 or over, while 700 were aged 25-49 and 320 were aged 16-24.

The think tank International Longevity Centre UK, says older unemployed people are hampered by age discrimination and a lack of flexibility from employers.

Dr Brian Beach, a senior research fellow at ILC-UK, which specialises in researching the impact of longevity on society, said few older people benefit from effective support in their job search.

He said: "The key barriers older people face are ageist attitudes and a lack of flexibility in working arrangements.

"Tackling age discrimination must be the number one priority if we are to enable more people who want to work to find jobs in later life."

Across the UK, 27 per cent of unemployed benefit claimants were aged 50 or older in January equating to 270,000 people.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: "Experienced workers are a huge asset to the workforce and there are now 10.4 million over 50-s in employment – a record number."

"Through the National Careers Service and personal work coach support at their local Jobcentre Plus, we are supporting older people to get the work they want regardless of their age.

"In addition, our Fuller Working Lives strategy is encouraging employers to recruit, re-train and retain older workers."

In West Lindsey, the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits rose by 25 per cent in the year to January, slightly above the national increase of 23 per cent.

The Office for National Statistics put this rise down to the Universal Credit roll-out process.

A spokesman said: "Under Universal Credit, a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker's Allowance.

"As Universal Credit full service is rolled out in particular areas, the number of people recorded as being on the claimant count is therefore likely to rise."