Text size: larger | smaller | reset

supporting welfare to work providers

Case studies

This catalogue of case studies brings together all the case studies included in 50+ Works and lists them under the sections and pages in which they appear on the site.  Enter key words or phrases into the Search function below to find case studies relevant to your needs. Scroll down to find the case studies with your key terms highlighted in blue.

Jobseeker Characteristics

50+ Jobseeker Characteristics

This case study was provided by Age Concern Camden. It describes two 50+ customers whose very different attitudes influenced their ability to find work. One was inflexible, had unrealistic expectations and rejected advice. His likelihood of finding a job is slim. The other was open-minded, receptive to ideas and flexible in his approach. As a result, he managed to set up his own business but also to find two small part time jobs to fall back on.

Key points: mindset, attitude issues, flexibility, expectations, transferable skills

How to identify typical barriers

This case study, provided by Reed in Partnership, describes how an employment adviser who had undergone mental health awareness training helped a customer who had been unemployed for 37 years. His Asbergers condition had gone unrecognised. But as a result of the adviser's intervention, his condition was assessed and confirmed. This helped the customer understand his problem, overcome some of his barriers and go on to find a job as a proof reader.

Key points: barriers, mental health awareness, group therapy, condition diagnosis

This case study from BEST is about an unemployed 53 year old man who had spent almost 30 years in the construction industry but was having difficulty in finding a job in construction because of a bad back. It describes the approach an adviser took to help him change his attitude about learning and finding work in another sector. He developed the confidence to acquire IT skills and, after encouragement, tried a work placement in a care home which led to the offer of a part time post.

Key points: health barrier, IT skills, attitude issues, training, confidence, work placement

This case study, provided by Portsmouth City Council, is about a 59 year old man who had had to give up work because of a series of heart attacks and thought his working life was over. It describes how he was helped to consider what he could do within the constraints of his health condition and what financial incentives were available. As a result of the help and advice he received, he was able to set up in self employment doing light delivery work.

Key points: health barriers, work capability assessment, motivation, confidence, transferable skills, Return to Work Credit, self employment

This case study describes the approach Vedas takes in its funded back to work programmes and how it works with older jobseekers.

Key point: programmes for older jobseekers

Provided by Pertemps People Development Group in Hull, this case study is about a 52 year old man who found it difficult to adapt to civilian life after leaving his stressful role as a paramedic in the army, developed a drink problem and lost his job. It describes how intensive one-to-one support helped him turn his life around, gain a qualification and start work as a freelance health and safety consultant. It also provides a list of organisations supporting ex-service personnel.

Key points: ex services, alcohol dependency, one to one support, self employment, organisations supporting ex services personnel

Hardest to help

St Mungo's, the charity that support homeless people in their recovery, provided these three case studies.  They describe how their employment service helped three St Mungo's customers regain their confidence to take up volunteering roles and, in two cases, paid work.

Key points: hardest to help, homelessness, health issues, volunteering, alcohol dependency, confidence, exclusion, recovery approach

These brief case studies from Nacro, the crime reduction charity, describe how their Resettlement Plus Helpline advised three ex-offenders how to deal with disclosing and discussing their convictions when looking for work.

Key points: hardest to help, ex-offenders, criminal record, convictions, disclosure

This case study,  provided by RBLI, describes how one of their advisers established a relationship of trust with a customer diagnosed with paranoia and who had been out of work for nine years. He supported him back into work, helped him disclose his mental health condition to his new employer and arranged appropriate working condtions to enable him to maintain his job.

Key points: hardest to help, mental health condition, adviser skills, building rapport, building trust, condition disclosure, aftercare  

Executive and professional jobseekers

This case study from The Foundation for Jobseekers describes how an executive job club helped someone who had worked at director level find work after being unemployed for two years. This involved work on his CV and interview techniques but key to his success was also his eventual acknowledgement that a lower paid and lower status job was preferable to unemployment.

Key points: job club, executive and professional, confidence and motivation, mindset, expectations, CV, interview skills

Confidence and motivation

Developing confidence

This case study from Seetec describes how a caseworker helped a 58 year old woman who had been a carer for more than 30 years with little employment history develop her confidence by setting achievable goals, building on then and taking a step by step approach. The customer who could no longer claim Carer's Allowance and had been transferred to Jobseeker's Allowance was depressed and did not believe she was employable. Despite her lack of work experience, formal qualifications or IT skills, she was helped to acquire new skills, try voluntary work and eventually find work in a care home.

Key points: caring responsibilities, lack of employment history, IT skills, formal qualifications, depression, confidence, job search, CV, interview skills, expectations, goal setting, voluntary work, care sector

Provided by TNG, this case study describes an adviser's approach to helping a 52 year old woman who had not worked for more than five years because of mental health issues gain confidence and find a job that interested her. She adapted her approach and the pace of her customer's journey to her customer's needs. She also encouraged her customer to discuss her wish to return to work and her medication with her GP.

 Key points: confidence, mental health issues, pace of customer journey, adviser similar age to customer, one to one sessions, work placement

Developing motivation

This case study, also provided by Seetec, explains how an adviser helped a customer who had been de-motivated by attending other programmes where he had not been treated as an individual.   He used techniques to instill good work practices, treated his customer as an individual in one to one sessions, and helped him to identify his transferable skills and what he found rewarding.  This led to an increase in the customer's motivation and confidence and a job offer.

 Key points: motivation, confidence, issues leading to demotivation, good work practices, transferable skills, treating a customer as an individial, one to one sessions

This case study describes how a programme for unemployed adults over 50 designed to help them explore their potential benefited a woman who had had to give up running her own café because of a serious health issue which was directly linked to working in a kitchen for many years. It encouraged her to look at her transferable skills and how she could deploy them in an area which interested her, helping her build her confidence. She ultimately realised her ambition to work in the tourism sector, finding work as a tour guide at a local tourist attraction.

Key points: health barriers, transferable skills, confidence

The customer journey 

Engagement: meeting your 50+ customer

This case study describes how an adviser dealt with an anxious and defensive 56 year old customer at a first meeting. She managed to diffuse his hostility by allowing him to pour out his frustrations and worries and by showing she was actively listening to what he was saying and that she respected his views. As a result he calmed down and became more positive. She was then able to explain how the provider could help him. He decided to join the provision and went on to become actively engaged in his own self development.

Key points: Anger, anxiety, first customer meeting, IT skills, listening skills, expectations, confidence

This case study gives a provider's step by step approach to the first meeting with a customer.

Key points: first customer meeting, first impressions, engagement

Setting realistic expectations and goals

This case study is about a woman who was determined to find a production post in manufacturing, similar to her last job, despite a scarcity of such jobs in the local area. Although despondent at her lack of success, she continued to look for similar work. It shows how she was helped to overcome her resistance to change and a different career path, explore other options and find a job in the security industry.

Key points: expectations, goal setting, mind set, attitude, flexibility, transferable skills, training, security sector

This case study from Vedas illustrates how someone who had been unemployed for a year was encourage to turn his enthusiasm for fitness and cycling into an idea for future employment.

Key points: goal setting, transferable skills, training


Exit routes

This case study describes how a 59 year old woman who had not worked for many years because of her caring responsibilities was helped to regain her confidence and to take the decision to retire. As she was nearing state pension age, she decided to take an unpaid role with a voluntary organisation.

Key points: caring responsibilities, confidence, IT skills, current working practces, modern job market, modern recruitment methods, confidence, work experience, voluntary work, retirement.

This case study from Reed in Partnership describes how an adviser helped a 60 year old woman first find a cleaning job but then with aftercare follow up to find more rewarding work.

Key points: aftercare, confidence, modern recruitment techniques, listening skills

Finding work

The modern job market

This case study provided by TAEN - The Age and Employment Network and written by Anne, a 53 year old jobseeker, provides tips for job search in today's job market..  She describes how she set about looking for work after having been made redundant and the 'dos' and 'don'ts'  she picked up in the process.. She found a new job within three months.

 Modern recruitment techniques

This case study from The Plus Team describes how they helped a former 63 year old sales executive learn about modern job searching techniques and adapt his approach for the digital age. He was also helped to tailor his CV and uncover jobs in the ‘hidden' job market. He was receptive to the advice given, followed it and found a sales job.

Key points: modern recruitment techniques, job search skills, CV, hidden job market, matching software, executive and professional

Contacts and developing a personal network

This brief case study from Reading Job Club describes how a senior executive how had lost his job in his early 50s learnt about the hidden job market and how to use his wide range of contacts to find another job.

Key points: hidden job market, personal network, job club

This case study describes how volunteer advisers and other jobseekers convinced a software development manager to try using his personal contacts to find a job in addition to applying for jobs adverstised on the internet or by recruitment agencies. Although orginally sceptical of the value of networking, this approach succeeded and he found a job commensurate with his previous one through a former colleague..

Key points: hidden job market, personal network, direct approaches, mindset, executive and professional , job club

This case study describes how Age UK Employment Services in Milton Keynes helped a 64 year old mechanic who had been made redundant explore different options and use everyday contacts to seek out job opportunities. This lead to him finding a job which was less physically demanding which he really enjoys.

Key points: confidence, job search skills, networking

Direct approaches

This case study describes how a job club helped a 52 year old former senior marketing executive try a new approach to find work - by researching specific markets and making targeted direct approaches to find a job. This led to a job offer which he accepted.

Key points: direct approaches, targeted approaches, researching specific markets, executive and professional

This case study describes how the Older Workers Employment Network project helped a former mill manager, who had been unemployed for two years, tailor his CV, identify his transferable skills, and send his CV speculatively to specific types of companies. He was also helped to improve his interviewing skills and gain a new qualification which resulted in a job offer.

Key points, direct approaches, targeted approaches, CV, new qualification, transferable skills

Identifying transferable skills

This case study describes how Highway to Opportunity helped a former HGV driver identify the coaching and training skills he had gained as a local cricket club volunteer to find work at a large training company where he helped people gain licences related to transport and distribution.

Key points: transferable skills

This case study from Age UK Employment Services in Milton Keynes describes how they helped a woman who had cared for her autistic son for many years develop her confidence and identify her skills and strengths to find a job in a nursery.

Key points: confidence, caring responsibilities, transferable skills

This case study from New Challenge in Harrow describes how a careers adviser helped a former NHS employee identify her transferable skills and find work which also helped her achieve her goal of committing to something serious and continue contributing to society. She participated in the Shared Lives scheme where carers open their home to a vulnerable adult, someone who is able to live independently with support but who would otherwise have to live in a residential care setting.

Key points: transferable skills, personalised support, working with vulnerable adults, Criminal Records Bureau check

Interview preparation and techniques

This case study from Kennedy Scott is about a highly qualified accountant with up-to-date skills who kept failing at the last hurdle: the interview. He had a disability but had been transferred from Incapacity Benefit to Jobseeker's Allowance. He felt depressed and had lost his confidence. It describes how his adviser helped him realise what was going wrong and improve his technique. It also touches on a sensitive cultural issue.

Key points: interview preparation, interview technique, confidence, body languate, mock interviews, filmed interviews, cultural issues

Ideas for group and peer sessions

This case study from Pertemps People Development Group in Hull fouces on the benefits of mixed age sessions. It describes how they run mixed age group courses, encourage interactivity and help older and younger learn and benefit from each others' skills and experiences.

Key points: mixed age groups, age barriers, engagement, group dynamics

This case study, provided by BEST, highlights the benefits of group coaching. It describes how a former warehouseman who had been unemployed for more than two years was help to develop confidence, assertiveness and improve his communication and IT skills through the mutual support and encouragement of other group members.

Key points: group coaching, life coach, mindset, confidence, mutual help, IT skills, work experience

Setting up work clubs and group activities

This brief case study describes the approach taken by three job clubs for managerial, professional and executive jobseekers in the Thames Valley area. The average age of those attending never dropped below 50 and it explains why younger jobseekers and manual workers tended to self select themselves out of them because of their different needs.

Key points: job club, executive and professional, younger jobseekers, older jobseekers, manual workers

The Foundation for Jobseekers case study highlights the benefits of a job club approach for unemployed executives which is volunteer delivered. It describes how five such job clubs, where the average age of attendees is 50, are run in the Thames Valley area.

Key points: job clubs, volunteer delivered job clubs, executive and professional, job club programme, job club toolkit

In this case study,  Age UK Employment Services in Milton Keynes describe how they run a job club for the over-50s from a wide range of backgrounds and careers.

Key points: job clubs, job club for the over-50s


This case study from Prime describes how a 50 year old woman, who gave up a career in the TV and film industry to work more flexibly to look after her young son, was helped by a Zopa-PRIME loan to finance the purchase of a franchise and set up her own business.

Key points: self employment, franchise, finance, loan

In this case study, Tribal Employablity and Skills describe the new business advice they gave a 59 year old man, who had been made redundant, to set up his own business using the skills and experience he had gained while working in the gas industry. This included information about business loans, business plans, cash forecasts and support available for the over-50s.

Key points: self employment, new business advice, transferable skills

This case study, provided by PRIME, illustrates how people can turn their hobbies and interests into employment opportunities. It describes how a 55 year old man set up an innovative photography business after losing his job as a motor home inspector.

Key points: self-employment, turning hobbies into employment opportunities

Business Support Kent describes in this case study the group self-employment programme it runs in Medway - an area of high unemployment and low aspirations, which makes it challenging to get unemployed people back to work. It describes the benefits participants derived from attending the course.

Key points: self employment, group session, entrepreneurial skills, confidence

This case study on self employment from Avanta illustrates how an adviser helped a 57 year old woman turn her hobbies (plant growing, jam making, needlework and sewing) into a business. She varied her activities from season to season to secure an income all year round.

Key points: self employment, hobbies, confidence, self-starter, transferable skills

Training and skills  

How training can get the 50+ back into work / kinds of training

This case study from New Challenge describes how poor literacy skills was preventing an unemployed driver from applying for jobs.  After his adviser identified the problem and suggested that he take adult literacy and IT courses, he gained confidence and was able to complete job applications on his own. She also helped him with job search and interviewing skills.  As result of networking, he heard about a job opportunity, made a direct approach to the company, and after a work trial, was offered a permanent position.

Key points: poor literacy, IT skills, confidence,  job search skills, interview skills, networking, direct approaches, work trial

This Wise Owls case study describes how an adviser helped a 56 year old ex carer, whose only work experience had been child minding, achieve a job as an administrator. She helped her customer develop her confidence to move on to advanced training by starting her off with carefully planned bite size training packages and by initially giving her small tasks and then building on them. Training in IT and business skills and a work placement were critical to her customer's ultimate success.

Key points: IT skills, business skills, confidence, training, work placement, adviser skills

This case study shows how a lack of IT skills hampers people from applying for jobs. A chef who had had to give up his job because of health problems discovered was he unable to find or apply for less demanding work because of his limited IT skills. After he had attended Age Concern North Tyneside's Walk through Windows introductory IT course, he was able to apply for jobs online and found one he wanted.

Key points: IT training, IT skills, modern recruitment techniques, online applications

Networking and referrals

Effective networking

This case study describes how provider Kennedy Scott developed a marketing plan to turn contacts into referral sources.

Key points: networking, referrals, marketing

This case study, from Paritas, describes how they established an Employer Engagement Forum (comprising different types or organisations) to help them provide a recruitment service and to meet employers needs with provide skilled trained workers, some of whom may have additional support needs.

Key points: networking, employers' need, employer engagement forum, caring responsibilities, IT skills Working with Jobcentre Plus

Kennedy Scott, in this case study, describes how they work with Jobcentre Plus to establish exactly what JCP wants they to deliver. They also describe how they keep their staff up-to-date with changes in the programmes and services JCP offers providers and customers.

Key points: Jobcentre Plus, mandated customers, pre-employment courses

Engaging with employers

Business First approach

This case study describes how Vedas, a commercial recruitment agency which also provides funded back to work programmes, established a relationship with an engineering company and works with them to help fill a wide range of roles from managerial to shopfloor positions.

Key points: employer engagement, business first approach, understanding employers' needs, sector knowledge, ongoing support, aftercare

This case study describes How Skills for Security, the industry body for the security sector, took employer demand as its starting point in its approach to place unemployed people in the Thames Gateway area. It also describes how it helped advise and train jobseekers so they could apply for jobs in the security sector.

Key points: employer engagement, business first approach, understanding employers' needs, sector knowledge, industry specific skills training,  in-work training, employment engagement broker, candidate screening

RBLI, a prime contractor for the Pathways to Work programme, in this case study describes how they identified the care industry as a sector with substantial unmet recruitment needs and developed a close understanding of the recruitment, skills and retention issues experienced by 39 care employers in the area and helped prepare and screen suitable candidates for vacancies.

Key points: employer engagement, business first approach, understanding employers' needs, sector knowledge, employment engagement broker, candidate screening, work preparation and skills training

Work placements and tasters

This case study from Bootstrap Enterprises describes how they helped a carer with arthritis identify job opportunities with work tasters and training and then find suitable employment which fitted in with his caring responsibilities.

Key points: work tasters, caring responsibilties, health barrier, confidence, CV, transferable skills, job search skills, training, qualifications

Employing the 50+ : the business benefits

This case study describes how Domestic and General Call Centre in Nottingham attracted and retained higher numbers of older workers who bring experience, loyalty and reliability. It also highlights other benefits the employment of older workers brings to the business.

Key points: business benefits of employing the 50+, older workforce, recruitment practices, confidence, flexible working

Adviser / trainer skills

This case study  from Age Concern North Tyneside describes the qualifications, skills, personal qualities and experience that they look for in the staff it recruits, and why they think they are necessary.

Key points: qualifications, confidence, communication skills, experience of providing employment advice and guidance, knowledge of 50+ barriers, ability to motivate

A4E describes in this case study the enhanced employment support they provide to older customers through their Recruiting Older Workers (ROW) project. This project explored the benefits of streaming an older customer group during the earlier stages of unemployment. While the ROW advisers, who have specialist knowledge and skills relating to the older age group, supported all their ROW customers (voluntary or self-referred rather than mandated), they focused on the ‘harder to help'.

Key points: enhanced employment support, streaming older customers, supporting the ‘harder to help', employer engagement, knowledge of 50+ barriers, in-work support model, employment partnership officers

This case study describes how Age UK Employment Services Milton Keynes trains new advisers.

Key points: adviser training, understanding of 50+ age group and barriers, shadowing experienced staff, confidence

Skills and professional continuous development

This case study, provided by Reed in Partnership, describes how an employment adviser who had undergone mental health awareness training helped a customer who had been unemployed for 37 years. His Aspergers condition had gone unrecognised. But as a result of the adviser's intervention, his condition was assessed and confirmed. This helped the customer understand his problem, overcome some of his barriers and go on to find a job as a proof reader.

Key points: barriers, mental health awareness, group therapy, condition diagnosis

This RBLI case study describes how an adviser helped a 53 year old customer with various disabilities find a role that not only enabled her to manage her conditions but also to use her skills and experience. Aftercare was key to sustaining her in her job and the adviser devised subtle ways of keeping in touch until she no longer needed his support.

Key points: barriers, disability, work trial,  job coach. working environment, Access to Work assessment, building rapport, aftercare


Shaw Trust provided this case study which describes how a job coach helped an employer identify what roles were suitable for a man with severe cerebral palsy and then to make simple adjustments to accommodate his disability and to enable him to complete his tasks.

Key points: disability, job redesign, job coach, in-work support

Building rapport

This case study describes how WorkWise, who specialised in working with unemployed people over 50, dealt with a customer's hostility. By establishing a mutually respectful relationship, they helped him diffuse his frustrations. He was then able to move forward to the point where he obtained a new qualification and could start applying for jobs.

Key points: building rapport, dealing with hostility, listening skills, mindset, attitude issues, confidence, transferable skills, security sector


This site is for help and information only. It is not meant as an authoritative guide. It is not meant as an authoritative statement of the law, and future changes in the law and other programmes and initiatives could make it less accurate at times. TAEN, the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund take no responsibility for your use of the information. You should always take professional advice on any specific legal or financial matter.