Wise Age is currently running a DWP project providing support to over 50s job seekers in Tower Hamlets and Hackney. Since the Coronavirus, we have been running this virtually, with help by phone, email and online offered. There are a couple of places still left for people registered as Unemployed with the DWP on JSA or Universal credit who are resident in these 2 boroughs.
We are also funded by London Council / ESF Tower Hamlets to provide support to over 50s residents of Tower Hamlets who are workless and have barriers to employment they need help to overcome. Again this support is available to anyone over 50 who is either registered unemployed or workless. We offer 121, group support and training plus the support of a published life coach.
Our recent funding has been provided by London Funders to provide online and web-based support to anyone in London needing online support. For people who are unable to access the internet or make online applications. We are able to provide loans of tablets with appropriate software and we offer training to help clients apply online for work and training.
Stay Safe As An Older Person
- MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCE - 2 meters where possible and a minimum of 1 meters
- WEAR A MASK ( and that must include all closed spaces, shops , offices, bars, restaurants and schools and colleges)
- WASH properly ( 20 seconds) and regularly with soaps and water or sanitiser with 70 % alcohol and do so after any physical contact, using cash points and similar or handing parcels - including super market deliveries
- We disagree with the way that those being shielded as they are in vulnerable groups most at risk from severe or deadly CORONA virus are now being told they should return to work.
- ALL EMPLOYERS must be forced to provide adequate protections for all workers and no one should be forced to return to offices or factories or shops if their health is put at risk but neither should they face dismissal if they wish to stay shielding.
- ALL those who are unemployed or in furlough should be given adequate incomes, there should be no evictions by landlords for the foreseeable future and furlough schemes should be maintained where necessary.
- To all our fellow seniors BE SAFE, BE CAREFUL,THINK OF OTHERS AND BE WELL.
The government guidelines were originally to Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and save lives. These guidelines have remained remain in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the time being. WiseAge and its members have always completely agreed with this.
The new guidelines are to Stay Alert, Control the Virus and Save Lives, while the lockdown is being eased at different rates across the four countries of the UK. While the new message is less clear and more ambiguous and in some instances contradictory, there is still a clear requirement by the government for everyone to adhere to basic health instructions. These include:
- staying at home unless necessary, working from home if possible, minimising use of public transport,
- always respecting the social distancing 2-metre rule
- washing hands for 20 seconds after going out, engaging with people or handling deliveries etc,
- restrict meeting those outside of your household outside to 6 people in England while socially distancing.
They are also asking those at risk to keep safeguarding themselves. Full advice is contained here.
Support for Older Job Seekers in this time of COVID-19 pandemic
WELCOME to Wise Age support to older people out of work and looking for support with benefits and finding work during the crisis.
your sake, for NHS staff and those who are vulnerable, however, one downside of this is that many people have been laid off, some on furlough but others unfortunately just made redundant. The limited levels of financial support for those who are unemployed or sick or disabled has been made apparent to many as over a people are seeking the rights to claim a benefit. In addition, the DWP has limited staff and are working from home so the response time has been very slow topped off by the fact that with now over a 1 million suddenly trying to access Universal Credit the well-reported problems with that system have practically led to a meltdown.
On top of all this for those of you desperate to find work and get support there are few jobs offered and little practical support available. Therefore we at Wise Age despite working from home want to offer some useful support and advice about what you can do to find a job from home.
1) There are still jobs out there. Supermarkets are still looking for staff, so go onto all the supermarket’s websites, look for their jobs section, see what’s on offer and send in your CV or fill in their online application. Equally, there are vacancies for NHS support staff, care home workers, security, driving and delivery jobs. These are likely to be at present temporary but once in work it is far easier to then get fully hired and employers prefer people who are currently or recently working. Only apply if you are fit and well and remember to keep your social distancing, only go out for shopping, medical needs or ½ hour exercise or for a job interview( it is likely that the first interview will be by phone or online).
2) Go on to our For Seniors section and click on our Employment links portal. There are links to around 70 different employer and recruitment sites, with some specialist sites.
3) Prepare and practice for phone or on-line interviews and if you are given time please make sure you read the job description and person specification so you can prepare your answers with relevant reference to past experiences.
4) When making applications or submitting CVs match your profile to the keywords in the job advert, make sure in your previous work you refer to as many of the key tasks that they want you to perform now as part of your summary of skills in your past jobs. Do not apply for jobs unless you match all or nearly all of their key Essential Requirements. Make sure that you refer with examples to these personal attributes that they say they want candidates to have – such as good customer skills, attention to detail, ability to work in a team and to work on your own.
5) These are the benefits you have to offer to employers as an older worker: experience, wisdom, work ethic, customer care, ability to get on with staff, customers and management, and matching the profile of the largest and rising group of customers for any business- the over 50s or silver economy.
6) These are the prejudices you are likely to face from ageist employers and recruitment agencies. Be aware of them and have your answers ready. Unmotivated, just waiting to retire; no understanding of IT, overqualified, a threat to younger managers, ill-health.
7) There are far more benefits you can offer and ways to counter myths which we can send you on request.
8) See the good practice templates and advice we offer in our For Seniors Section, in particular, we are now putting online the first of our weekly training presentations.
Advice for Self Employed from HMRC - https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKHMRCED/bulletins/289089d
Risks affecting older people
As older people are more at risk than younger people and have a higher proportion of those that have serious health conditions and who are deemed to be at the highest risk ( and the older we get the higher the proportion of those at risk), we have the most to lose if we either don’t obey these basic common sense rules or the lockdown ends before the UK is in a position to do safely. We support the British Society of Gerontology assessment of the position of older people which challenges any simple policy which differentiates the population by application of an arbitrary chronological age in restricting people’s rights and freedoms. While people of all ages can be vulnerable to COVID-19, and all can spread the disease, not all people over the age of 70 are vulnerable, nor all those under 70 resilient. https://www.britishgerontology.org/publications/bsg-statements-on-covid-19/statement-one
There is further advice for those who:
- Are at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus.
- Need to self-isolate because they have, or someone in their household has, symptoms of coronavirus.
Please read more on the NHS website, including how to help stop infection spreading, looking after your wellbeing and using the NHS coronavirus status checker.
Here is the first part of our seniors' employment training presentations which we are now putting online to offer virtual training support. Contact us when you want to read part 2.