Over 50s high jobless rate in Sheffield and Barnsley

image captionMr Igglo said he was made redundant more than a year ago

Sheffield and Barnsley are among the areas in the UK where most over 50s are unemployed, research has shown.

The data found that in Sheffield the employment rate of adults over 50 was 31.6%. Barnsley stands at 32.1%.

Boston in Lincolnshire has the lowest rate at 26.5%. The UK average for the same group is 38.1%.

The BBC-commissioned research, done by Experian, looks at how areas of England will be affected by an increasing ageing population.

Charity Prime said since August 2008, the number of unemployed over 50s nationally had risen by 51%, compared with 36% for the under 50s.

Unemployed Sheffield resident Tony Igglo, 50, said job prospects in the city had got worse over the last year.

Mr Igglo has been looking for work since being made redundant more than a year ago.

"I don't know if it's because of my age or if the world has changed but the jobs in Sheffield are less and less.

"A couple of months ago I was doing a job search for basic jobs such as warehouse work, but not one thing came up for Sheffield.

"That has not happened to me in all my life and I've been unemployed four times. It was shocking."

'Retirement impossible'

Mr Igglo, who is single, said he believed his age had a bearing on his ability to find employment.

"Some people are looking for more older, reliable people but most of the time the work is short-term and they want people who are physically young and fit."

For Mr Igglo, being out of work has made the prospect of saving for retirement impossible.

"I work on the bottom of society's jobs and I'm never going to get to a stage of having enough money to retire.

"I need to be employed to survive from day to day."

A training scheme has been started at Sheffield College aimed at helping unemployed people find work in the city.

Since August 2009, 702 people have enrolled on the programme, 117 of those were aged over 50.

Bill Jones, director for planning and performance at the college, said the scheme was aimed at people who had been unemployed for at least six months and enabled them to learn new skills tailored to gaps in the job market.

The Experian research also looked at other issues including how many over 65s have to undertake unpaid care of a family member and examined data detailing care quality.

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