DWP hails success of Mersey jobs fairs

Jobcentres in Liverpool city region are increasingly using jobs fairs to help people into work. Tony McDonough reports

forklift, factory, warehouse, business, manufacturing
DWP in Merseyside is helping to train people to become forklift truck operatives


An increasing number of jobseekers are finding work through jobs fairs organised by Liverpool city region Jobcentres.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is stepping up the number of jobs fairs it offers via Jobcentres across Merseyside. This is helping people to find work and helping employers to fill vacancies.

Despite the cost of living crisis and multiple problems in the economy, there is no shortage of job vacancies. In a number of instances people attending the jobs fairs are being offered full employment, placements or training on the spot.

In early June a jobs fair was held in Bootle Strand Shopping centre. This was in conjunction with Sefton Youth Hub and The Big Onion, a local business and employment support hub. 

Sefton employer advisers secured 16 employers and four training providers. There were 156 people attending. On the day 15 people were offered jobs and a further 81 offered second interviews.

A further 25 people were ultimately matched to vacancies across Merseyside. Jobcente Plus staff utilised their job-matching service and Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs).

A further 20 customers were offered apprenticeships, six offered Traineeships and 53 of people were referred to training courses and SWAPS. An additional 15 jobseekers signed up to Sefton@Work jobs and training.

Linda Usher, Merseyside senior employer and partnership operations lead for Jobcentres, told LBN said the number of jobseekers being offered jobs on the spot at the fair was growing.

“With summer fast approaching and a record level of vacancies, employers are turning to their local jobcentre for expert help matching jobseekers with their seasonal and permanent vacancies,” she added.

“Right now it’s our top priority to work with employers and jobseekers to match the right job with the right person. Hosting jobsfairs in our offices has enabled a growing number of businesses to offer jobseekers jobs on the spot. This is especially the case in industries such as hospitality, care, retail and construction.”

Latest data shows a rise in the number of people claiming Universal Credit from April to May in Liverpool city region. As of May 12 there were 169,211 people in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton, in receipt of Universal Credit – a rise of 1% from 167,579 on April 14.

Wirral saw the biggest percentage rises in UC claimants, up 1.2% to 30,325. Next was Knowsley and St Helens, both up 1.1% to 19,070 and 18,652 respectively. Both Liverpool and Halton saw a rise of 0.9% to 59,848 and 15,381 respectively. Sefton saw the lowest rise in claimants, up 0.7% to 29,935.

The DWP in Merseyside is also working with HMP Liverpool (Walton Prison) to support people about to be released and get back into the job market. In partnership with POPs (Partners of Prisoners), DWP Work Coaches attended family forums.

Work with larger employers is also helping people into work in other areas of the city region. In Wirral the DWP has worked with the 2 Sisters Food Group 130 people into work.

A number of bespoke training opportunities to prepare customers for work in sectors with skills shortages include:

  • A Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAP) to recruit for customer service roles with Serco in Kirkby.
  • A Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAP) to recruit for forklift truck operative vacancies across Liverpool.
  • A Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAP) to recruit for early years practitioners and sports coaches with various Kids Planet locations across Merseyside.
  • There is a Get Into Retail programme in conjunction with Marks & Spencer and Princes Trust.
  • B&M in Runcorn are looking for a number of warehouse operatives.

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