There is an urgent need for policies to improve the job prospects for the over 50s, the Welsh assembly's enterprise and business committee has warned.There are 1.2 million people over 50 in Wales and more than a third of 50 to 64-year-olds are not working. Chairman William Graham said this was “alarming” while work was “now a necessity – not a choice for the majority of this age group”.
There was a need to dispel “myths” that older workers were less productive. In Wales, 53,000 people aged 65 and over are employed, an increase of 14% over the year to March 2014. People over 50 are more likely to be unemployed for more than a year than any other age group in Wales, the committee found.
Older People's Commissioner Sarah Rochira told AMs she found this “quite alarming”. They were “undervalued, underappreciated and very much an afterthought” in terms of programmes to help them. The proportion of over 50s out of work in Wales is the highest in the UK, apart from in Northern Ireland.