By Claire West

Older Londoners are struggling to find work, with unemployment up 10 per cent among over-50s in inner London despite a downward national trend, according to figures discussed at the London Assembly yesterday.

Official figures show that while the number of people over 50 claiming Job Seekers Allowance fell by 8.2 per cent nationally last year, in the capital it was up 5.5 per cent with inner London particularly badly hit at 10.8 per cent.

The issue was raised with Pamela Chesters, the Mayor’s Adult Skills Adviser, and Judith Rutherford, Director of the London Skills and Employment Board (LSEB) at today’s meeting[2] of the Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism (EDCST) Committee.

The LSEB said they were aware of the issue and had identified the over-50s as one of seven priority groups.

Len Duvall, Chair of the EDCST Committee said,

“A lot of progress has been made in London to get unemployed people back to work, but I’m concerned about the rising number of older workers, especially in inner London, who are struggling to find jobs.

“The fact that the capital is bucking a national downward trend shows more help needs to be targeted toward the over 50s to give them the skills they need to get back into the workplace.”