Belfast Telegraph

Scheme to help older workers wins £2m funding

Cash boost: Kate Beggs
Cash boost: Kate Beggs

By Staff Reporter

A project to help older people in Northern Ireland stay in or return to work has won over £2m in National Lottery funding.

Age NI, in partnership with Business in the Community NI, received the £2.2m grant from The National Lottery Community Fund for its five-year Age at Work project.

The scheme is designed to raise awareness of the ageing workforce and help businesses include more older people.

It will help companies recruit, retain and retrain older workers by offering resources, advice and support such as training and work placements.

Siobhan Casey, director of business development and marketing at Age NI, said: "Our research has told us older people want to continue in employment for a number of reasons.

"These might include wanting to stay connected with others, or for some it might be for financial reasons - 47% are likely to work past the state pension age to be able to afford their desired lifestyle."

Mrs Casey stressed employers needed to provide flexible options to older workers who may also be dealing with caring responsibilities and health issues.

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She said Age NI would provide a mid-career review to 1,000 people to help them assess the potential to stay in work longer.

Kate Beggs, director of The National Lottery Community Fund in Northern Ireland, said the organisation was delighted to fund the project.

"Thanks to National Lottery players, (this scheme) will work with older people and employers to help better understand and overcome some of the barriers to finding or staying in work.

"These include the demands of informal caring, health issues and lack of flexible working options."

Belfast Telegraph