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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Job mentor service for over-50s
Adult mentoring team
Research showed that many over 50s could benefit from a mentor
People over the age of 50 in Edinburgh who are struggling to find work could be offered the services of a mentor.

Members of the business community are being invited to become mentors to help guide the over-50s in the employment market.

Mentors will hold regular meetings with "mentees", to advise them on issues like IT and modern business.

The scheme began after research showed many over-50s felt left behind in the job market and lacked confidence.

The project will be based at the Edinburgh University Settlement's community learning centre, which carried out the research.

There's a lot of really good talent there in older workers
Roger Horam
Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

Margaret Durie, from the learning centre, told BBC Radio's Scotland Live programme: "The purpose of having the mentor is to work with the individual mentees on a one-to-one basis.

"They will sign up to agreements and produce minutes from every meeting that they have, so that there is an action plan almost as a result of each meeting."

Roger Horam, from Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said it was important to get over-50s back to work .

He added: "They have got very good work ethics, they are willing to get up for early shifts and late shifts.

"There's a lot of really good talent there in older workers."

Funded by the EU, the service will be a six-month pilot to determine its effectiveness.

Similar projects have also begun in Dundee, with organisers looking to implement the idea around Scotland.

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