Job centre staff are also helping Liverpool city region employers fill roles in the care, retail and logistics sectors as new data shows the UK jobs market remains buoyant. Tony McDonough reports
HMRC is continuing its Merseyside staff recruitment drive and is working with Jobcentre Plus staff to fill another 100 vacancies.
This is in addition to the 230 job centre staff has helped fill for HMRC in the last couple of months. HMRC is bringing together its staff from smaller offices to work in 13 major regional centres across the UK.
One of those centres will be at India Buildings in Liverpool city centre which is currently undergoing a £38m refurbishment to accommodate around 3,500 tax workers from next year.
Local Jobcentre Plus spokesperson, Gemma Batchelor, told LBN that Jobcentre Plus staff were continuing to support people to apply for roles with HMRC. The latest 100 vacancies will comprise 50 full-time and 50 part-time jobs.
She added: “We have been providing support packs to assist customers with the application process and are also working with local training providers to offer a short pre-employment course for customers who need some more support.
“HMRC is in the process of bringing everyone together in 13 large regional centres and Liverpool has been selected as one of these centres, which is great for the city. These will provide modern workspaces and the tools to make the job easier, more varied and more satisfying.”
Latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the UK jobs market is continuing to defy the wider economic gloom with employment increasing by 32,000 to reach a record high of 32.75m in the three months to April.
At 3.8%, the unemployment rate remains its lowest since the 1970s, with youth unemployment level falling by nearly half since 2010. The employment growth is being fuelled by he numbers of self-employed people and women entering the workforce, the ONS says.
The figures also show private sector employment growing by 287,000 in the last year. Jobs requiring more qualifications, particularly in sectors like technology and science, continued to show the biggest increase. Higher skilled roles made up around 75% of the rise in employment since 2010 – employing an extra 2.6m people since 2010.
In the North West, there were 3.5m people employed in the three months to April up 81,000 on the year and up 321,000 since 2010. The unemployment level in the region stands at 133,000 – down 12,000 on the year.
The unemployment rate for the region is 3.7% and has more than halved since 2010 and the number of workless households has fallen since Oct-Dec 2010 by 234,000.
Jobcentre Plus staff around the city region are also working with other employers to fill a variety of roles. In the care sector these has been demand for staff at a new care home in Formby and Shaw healthcare has 90 vacancies in Speke for its new dementia hub.
Staff also supported KFC manager Paul Onslow with his recruitment for his new store in Garston through a sector based work academy with Crosby Training. Mr Onslow said he was “blown away” by the calibre of the candidates Jobcentre Plus put forward for the roles.
And this week it organised a jobs fair at Liverpool Football Club where employers offering vacancies included Liverpool FC itself, retailer TK Maxx, both the army and the air force as well as Delta Taxis and KFC.
In St Helens and Halton, Jobcentre Plus reports that the growing logistics sector is offering a steady pipeline of vacancies with retailers Sainsbury’s and the Co-op among those companies seeking warehouse operatives.
“There is a really wide range of logistics roles on offer right now,” Gemma added. “We are holding group sessions in job centres to give people the best possible chance of getting s job in the sector.”