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Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what projects are being put in place in Wales to increase employment opportunities for people over 55. [118050]

New Deal 50 plus is the programme that helps increase the employability of unemployed people aged 50 and over including the over 55s. Five thousand people in Wales have found employment under New Deal 50 plus since the programme was set up in 2000.Unemployed people in Wales aged 50 and over also have immediate access to the work-based training grants (WBLA). Such access is not available in England or Scotland.The Age Positive team, which is part of the Department for Work and Pensions, promotes age diversity in employment. The team aims to increase the number of people aged 50 and over who are in employment, encourages employers to use age-diverse practices, analyses the position of older workers in the employment market and shares good practice internationally. An Age Positive campaign was launched in Cardiff on 9 June 2003.