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Employment Minister announces ‘Third Age Apprenticeships’


DfEE press release, 568/99
6 December 1999

Employment Minister Tessa Jowell today announced ‘Third Age Apprenticeships’ which will play a vital role in tackling age discrimination faced by older workers.

In a major speech on ageism in the workplace, she said: 'We want to develop high quality training routes into employment for the over 50s. We want to apply the experience and maturity that over 50s can bring to different areas. New Deal50 Plus can help deliver policies that cut across departmental sectors.

'Today I am announcing a new approach in our New Deal 50plus programme. We are developing with our partners in different Government sectors a way of harnessing and directing the talent among over-50s into building a framework and offering a menu for Third Age Apprenticeships.

'In the same way young people aged 16-21 are offered a menu of options under modern apprenticeships, we want to offer more directed opportunity for work that will help build communities. Third Age Apprenticeships offer a way to include older workers in a framework of labour market activity, vocational training and matchmaking that will come under the remit of the new Learning and Skills Councils.'

"New Deal 50plus offers training grants for individuals. These training grants could be used to offset innovative training courses in a number of useful areas where the qualities that mature workers possess can be harnessed to useful effect.

"A menu of options for Third Age Apprenticeships is likely to include:

* Training in the Employment Service for over 50s to become personal advisors. We want to see over 50s linking in with intermediaries and NTOs, and passing on their experience in developing "softer skills" that employers have identified as lacking among many young unemployed people.

* We want to develop new opportunities for the over 50s to qualify as child-carers and self-employed childminders.

'It is estimated that up to 100,000 new jobs in childcare, early education and playwork will be created over the coming years as a result of the National Childcare Strategy, with as many as 60,000 people required to staff new out-of- school provision alone.

'In the New Year we will announce a full menu of options and details of how Third Age Apprenticeships can be supported within the Pathfinder areas currently piloting New Deal 50plus.

'We are developing these projects because we want to see the over 50s commanding the respect they deserve. We want to see a culture change in a society where the prevailing attitude has been that a "useful" and economically active life ends at 50.'


* Tessa Jowell was speaking at the conference ‘Does Age Matter’ at the Comonwealth Conference Centre, London.

PRESS ENQUIRIES: Jim Campbell 0171 925 5108
Rashmi Choudhury 0171 925 5320
PUBLIC ENQUIRIES: 0171 925 5555


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