Middle of the Road (45-75)
A large number of adults have fallen out of the workforce prior to or post retirement and face substantial barriers to reintegrating into the workforce. Without a reliable source of income at this stage in their lives, these individuals are at risk of falling quickly into poverty. In trying to re-enter the workforce, barriers include:
- Widespread and entrenched negative perceptions held by employers about older workers’ ability to integrate into a younger workplace and to maintain productivity
- Employers’ assumptions that older workers will expect higher wages, especially those who are highly educated or overqualified
- Rapid changes in the job market’s demands for specific skills.
There is a need to provide previously employed, but currently unemployed, older adults with the tools and resources to find fulfilling and remunerative work. There is a lack of awareness of the needs of older adults and of the added value of employing them.
A collaboration between Eshel and Tevet, the Middle of the Road program targets job seekers aged 45-75 who have been unemployed for between six months to five years, or who are unemployed and past retirement age. The program helps these individuals gain hard and soft skills required by the current job market. It also works with participants to achieve placement in suitable employment settings, including self-employment.
Following an initial in-take interview, program staff counsel the participant to determine which of the following three paths of intervention is most appropriate: Short-term (Soft skills trainings, counseling and emphasis on immediate placement), Long-term (Vocational re-training, skills development, counseling and future placement), or Self-Employment (Assistance and mentoring to develop a small business or continue in a previous trade through self-employment).
The program benefits employers by offering them an untapped reservoir of experienced and motivated workers. Israeli society also benefits by having these individuals contribute their skills and expertise to the national workforce. The economy also benefits by the increase in expendable income created. The program will serve as a research and development body to create the knowledge, tools, and training programs that employment services for older Israelis can utilize.
- Raise awareness of the benefits of employing older adults
- Empowered with a sense of purpose, meaning and ability
- Employment is in accordance with preference and abilities
- Acquires knowledge, tools and skills that advances independence and autonomy
- Emotional resilience – strengthens sense of purpose, meaning and ability
- Feels secure due to the presence of a support network
- Increased ability to cope with economic challenges
2015 - December 2018
JDC-Tevet, Ministry of Economy, local authorities