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Helping the over-50s return to work

14 February 2017

Allen & Overy today launches a new employability programme – ReStart – to help people over the age of 50 return to employment.

ReStart targets over-50s living in London who have been unemployed for between six months and a year. Through workshops, business mentoring and digital modules, participants are supported to rediscover strengths and to build the knowledge, skills and confidence to help them get back into work.

Mentors from A&O will work with around 30 participants in the first ReStart programme between April and June this year. ReStart will support people from any background or profession, particularly those who have a fresh outlook on their future employment and would consider changing roles or industries.

The Missing Million – why focus on older generations?

Long-term unemployment in the over-50s is an issue of growing concern in the UK, not only because of the effect it has on the individuals, but also for the wider impact it has on families and younger generations.

A recent Business in the Community (BITC) report – ‘The Missing Million’ – shows there are 3.3 million economically inactive people in the UK aged 50-64. Of these, around one million have been made ‘involuntarily workless’ through redundancy, ill health or early retirement.

For some groups, in particular those on low incomes, it is extremely hard to get back into work over the age of 50. But BITC estimates that over GBP80 billion could be added to the UK economy by keeping the over-50s in employment.

Allen & Overy partner, Maria Stimpson, explains: “The most successful workplaces have a multi-generational workforce and benefit from the immense amount of experience, maturity and skills that older employees can contribute.

“By helping those over the age of 50 to get back into work after a period of unemployment, we can minimise the damage long-term unemployment does to individuals and their families – which is also a major barrier to social mobility.”

Workplace diversity

ReStart extends A&O’s long-running social mobility work with Smart Start and PRIME, which focus on providing high quality work experience to young people from non-privileged backgrounds.

It also complements our wider workplace diversity programmes, such as 20:20, which aims to grow the percentage of female partners to 20% globally by 2020; and ‘I’m Back’, an initiative that helps female lawyers reintegrate back into the workplace following an extended career break.

To find out how you can take part, visit

Read more about ReStart.