Unemployment of 50-yr-olds troubles Minister

Despite an overall drop in unemployment, in the over-50s age group, it seems to be increasing. Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs will make €34 million available for a plan to give the over-50s extra training.

The fact that there are currently 118,000 older people taking unemployment benefits is "worrying", Minister Asscher says. This is almost a quarter more than last year when the Minister pulled out €67 million for helping the unemployed 55-and-up age group. This age margin is now being lowered to 50.

Only 45 percent of the older unemployed people in The Netherlands find a job within a year. For people over the age of 60, this is still lower, at 20 percent. Older people are also more often on welfare for a longer period of time.

The Institute for the Implementation of Employment Insurance (UWV) will be available for the over-50s to train for job interviews and applications. This extra money will also help organize 'inspiration days' where the unemployed can meet employers.

Job centers will also receive a bonus if they can help find a job for the unemployed over-50s. Further, Asscher is proposing vouchers of €1000 for the elderly to receive further training.

The way in which unemployment is tackled in The Netherlands is not done to a satisfactory level, Asscher believes. There is not enough advantage being taken of this extra money for training, and the job center bonuses should also be promoted.

UWV and MKB (Middle-small businesses) Netherlands will launch a campaign on monday to point employers towards the advantages of having older employees. This campaign will also focus on fighting prejudice. Ageisms such as the conception that older employers are weaker, and prone to sickness, and do not want to learn anymore.