Job programmes for over-50s
If you're out of work voluntarily or through redundancy, it can take time to find another job, regardless of your age. However, your wealth of experience in the workplace is highly valuable and you can use your knowledge and skills to find employment.
Help for older jobseekers
There are programmes and resources available to anyone over 50 to help you find work or learn new skills. If you're unemployed or thinking about a change of career, it's a good time to review your experience and CV. Think about the skills you have and if you need some extra training for the job you want.
There are many recruitment and advice agencies that offer help for older people looking for work.
Steps to Work
Steps to Work is a programme to help you find a job. It offers a flexible menu of work related activities that can be tailored to suit your employment needs. When taking part in Steps to Work you will be allocated an adviser who will provide ongoing support and guidance to help you take the right steps towards getting a job.
Some of the help available includes work experience through high quality job placements, an opportunity of a subsidised job with an employer, access to advice and guidance on self-employment and improving your chances of securing work by getting a qualification.
The Local Employment Intermediary Service (LEMIS) helps unemployed people overcome those issues that may be preventing them from finding and keeping a job.
The service is provided by community employment organisations in Belfast, Londonderry, Strabane, Newry and Mourne, Moyle and Cookstown council areas.
Bridge to Employment
Bridge to Employment (Bridge) is a pre-employment training programme that helps people aged 18 and over find a job if they are unemployed - whatever their work experience.
For careers information, advice and guidance to help you make informed choices about your future career path you can contact a careers adviser. Professionally qualified careers advisers are based in Careers Resource Centres, Jobs and Benefits Offices and JobCentres throughout Northern Ireland.
- Find personal learning and careers advice (education, learning and skills section)
Jobs and Benefits office/JobCentre
Jobs and Benefits offices/JobCentres provide help and advice on jobs and training for people who eligible for work. An adviser at your local Jobs and Benefits office/JobCentre can discuss the type of work you want and training opportunities that may be available.
Find a job now
The Department for Employment and Learning's (DEL) JobCentreOnline website lets you look for jobs available throughout Northern Ireland. and the Careers Service website offers careers information to help you decide your career path.
Step Ahead 50+
Step Ahead 50+ provides a fixed term job opportunity lasting up to 26 weeks with an organisation in the voluntary/community sector. It is for people aged 50 or over who have been unemployed and claiming benefit for 12 months or more. It gives participants a chance to experience a real job and provide them with a recent work history.
To be eligible for Step Ahead 50+, you must be:
- aged 50 years old or over, out of work and in receipt of either Jobseeker's Allowance (including Benefit Based Training Allowance), Income Support, Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance for a continuous period of 12 months or more •a short break or an accumulation of short breaks, which do not exceed 28 days in total, will not affect your eligibility You are only eligible for one period of employment funded by Step Ahead 50+.
You can also undertake a qualification while on Step Ahead 50+.
More information on this programme is available by contacting an Employment Service Adviser in your local Jobs and Benefits office/JobCentre.
Starting your own business
The decision to start your own business is a big step. It's important to be aware of what happens when you become self-employed and where to go for help and advice.
An employer is breaking the law if they victimise, harass or discriminate directly or indirectly against an employee on the grounds of age. Age discrimimation is illegal in:
- selection and promotion
- service-related pay and benefits
- occupational pensions
- unfair dismissal
Employers can continue employing people who are 65 or over.
Employers may treat people differently on the grounds of age if they can satisfy the objective justification test in court – if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.