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Supporting carers back into work: Insights from the Working Potential project

In England, less than a quarter of carers are in part-time or full-time paid work, leaving a huge number of people who would be working – contributing to the economy and to their own personal finances – but are not. One in five people aged 50–64 is a carer, with many having to give up work to care. However, older carers who have fallen out of work face significant barriers to getting back into employment. 


Working Potential was an Ambition for Ageing programme that supported people with caring responsibilities, over 50, to explore employment opportunities. The programme used a coaching model to provide bespoke, holistic support suiting the differing needs of the cohort.


These two reports, taking their findings from the Working Potential programme, look at the needs of those with caring responsibilities trying to seek employment and how they can be supported back into work as well as a report on the evaluation of the programme itself. 


These reports were published by the Centre For Ageing Better and were based on the qualitative research findings of Manchester Metropolitan University, summarising interviews and focus groups undertaken with carers and coaches from Working Potential, a project funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and commissioned by Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO), as part of our Ambition for Ageing Programme, which aimed to engage up to 300 unemployed older carers not engaged with statutory employability programmes.


  • In addition, Ambition for Ageing published a briefing that shared recommendation for those planning employment projects for carers, for employers, and for policy makers and local government. You can read the briefing on it's own page here.
Working Potential