Jobs still on offer despite gloomy unemployment outlook

The team at Leicestershire’s Jobcentres says there are still opportunities out there – despite new figures showing the unemployment rate still rising. As the rise in Covid-19 cases threatens further lockdowns, and the end of the furlough scheme draws closer there are fears the UK unemployment rate will worsen. Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that 695,000 UK workers have disappeared from the payrolls of British companies since the start of the lockdown in March.

Since the start of September alone Lloyds Bank has announced 865 job cuts, Pizza Hut said it was losing 450 jobs, Virgin Atlantic 1,150 and Costa 1,650. The ONS figures suggest people aged 16 to 24 have been particularly badly hit, with 156,000 fewer young people in employment in the three months to July compared to the previous three months. Between the middle of July and mid-August the number of people on Universal Credit increased by 2 per cent to 5.6 million.

It is up 86 per cent since March 12. In parts of Leicester – which has been subjected to ongoing lockdown restrictions – the monthly rate of increase in claims is more than double the national average. Minister for Employment Mims Davies said they were putting resources into job support and job creation including creating “hundreds of thousands of fully subsidised new jobs for young people through our GBP2 billion Kickstart scheme”.

He said: “We know that young people are more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the pandemic. “The Kickstart scheme is an opportunity to build their skills in the workplace. “This will improve their chances of finding long-term work.”

Roger Matthews Leicestershire customer service team leader for Jobcentre Plus, said they were working hard to promote the Kickstart scheme and direct people to the jobs that are available. Those opportunities, he said, include: – Construction jobs with Landlease on the new GBP286 million prison being built at Glen Parva, including work for ex-offenders.

The prison should be completed by spring 2023, creating around 150 jobs and apprenticeships during construction and around 600 permanent roles when it opens. – 60 administrative officers needed for a new DWP service centre opening in Leicester. – Multiple logistics vacancies in the distribution parks around East Midlands Airport, including for very.co.uk; warehouse operatives, stock co-ordinators and forklift truck drivers for XPO; operation and ramp agents for DHL; automation engineers and warehouse operatives for UPS.

– Major recruitment with fresh and frozen food distributor Oakland International in Coalville – Coalville Jobcentre running a virtual online work academy with Chesterfield College for warehouse and storage with Amazon. – Coalville Jobcentre working closely with the Development Fund and Arriva buses to run a four week work academy in bus and coach driving – the first onsite training course to be held since the lockdown

– Developers Gladman creating construction jobs at a development of 190 homes off Leicester Road, in Earl Shilton. – In Melton, Access All Areas is working with the town’s Jobcentre offering employability support for young people and those who want to launch their own businesses. Mr Matthews said: “Although the rate of people claiming Universal Credit has gone up, I do feel that claims have stabilised over the last couple of months.

“And I do think there are opportunities out there and employers that are still recruiting. “Landlease are creating a lot of opportunities in the local community on the new prison in Glen Parva, including jobs for people on the actual construction who are a long way from the labour market such as ex-offenders. “Last week they took on eight people who were unemployed.

“There are also jobs out there in logistics, care work and agriculture and we are working with Amazon on training courses with the offer of a job interview at the end.

“We will have to wait and see what the next few months will have in store.”

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