City region job vacancies at all-time high

According to DWP there are more than 8,000 jobs currently being advertised across Liverpool city region – its highest recorded number. Tony McDonough reports

Retailer B&M in is seeking warehouse operatives at its Speke headquarters


Jobcentres across Liverpool are advertising more than 8,000 jobs – their highest level ever – including warehouse operatives for retail B&M in Speke.

And, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) latest payroll figures show the number of people on payrolls increasing since  the beginning of the pandemic two years ago.

However, data also shows a rise in the number of people claiming Universal Credit from January to February. As of February 10 there were 168,971 people in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton, in receipt of Universal Credit – a rise of 1.5% from 166,428 on January 13.

Knowsley saw the biggest percentage rises in UC claimants, up 1.7% to 19,008. Both Liverpool and Sefton saw rises of 1.6%, up to 59,866 and 25,917 respectively. Next was Halton and St Helens, both up 1.4% to 15,475 and 18,465 respectively. Wirral saw the smallest percentage rise, up 1.3% 30,240.

Linda Usher, senior employer and partnership operations manager for the DWP in Merseyside, said: “We’re focusing on working with local employers to rapidly match up their vacancies with the right jobseekers.

“We are inviting businesses such as B&M into our jobcentres, and holding regular jobs fairs, some of which, such as our weekly Jobsfair at Liverpool Duke Street Jobcentre, have resulted in jobseekers being offered jobs on the spot.

“Importantly our Way to Work campaign has given us all the impetus to support more people into an all -time high level of vacancies, with over 8,000 jobs currently being advertised in Merseyside.”

Jobcentres across Merseyside continue to offer local mini-Jobsfairs to support people looking for work. On Tuesday, March 8, Kirkby Jobcentre opened the doors to its first Jobsfair to support the Way to Work campaign.

The event saw 62 people attend with nine employers promoting their vacancies resulting in five job offers on the day, 20 second interviews booked and 27 application forms issued.

The employers commented on the professionalism of the event and the enthusiasm of the applicants. DWP employer advisers took the opportunity during the debrief with the employers to share some of the good practices learnt in supporting the Kickstart Scheme, which supported young people aged 16-24 into paid six-month employment placements.

Advice shared included the benefits of stripping away the CV and application forms and moving straight to interview – essentially securing the strongest applicants and dealing with the paperwork at a later date.

One employer commented he had secured two people at the event who will be offered a contract and explained that it normally took him months to reach that position.

St Helens Council has teamed up with local partners to offer free support packages for people wanting to become private hire taxi drivers. The package covers a Level 2 qualification in taxi driver training and a number of financial support incentives to make the journey as smooth as possible.


car, taxi, cab, driver, dashboard, meter
People in St Helens are being offered training to become private hire taxi drivers


Dedicated support includes information and advice to become self-employed and how to access significant financial contributions made by the council, as well as free DBS checks, medical and licence charges – as well as two weeks’ car rental, insurance, two-weeks’ worth of radio hire and the operators’ livery.

Ways to Work and the new St Helens Pathway into Employment programmes will work with JobCentre Plus and Genesis Training, to deliver a free and comprehensive pre-self-employment support package leading to a fully accredited taxi driver qualification for St Helens residents – with a host of local firms onboard with the initiative ready to take drivers on.

Merseyside Disability Employment Leads met with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Cheshire and Wirral NHS Foundation Trust to discuss the transition of children with Special Education Needs from education into work/benefits.

DWP is also running a number of bespoke training opportunities to prepare customers for work in sectors with skills shortages including:

  • 11 x Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAP) to support people into roles within driving and logistics, IT and telecoms, construction and hospitality.
  • There are a range of jobs available at the moment across a number of NHS Trusts in Merseyside available through
  • New Directions and Different Care are looking for people who want to work in health and social care roles.
  • Tuffnells based in Haydock and St Helens are looking for warehouse operatives and 7.5-tonne drivers.
  • B&M in Speke is looking for a number of warehouse operatives with no previous experience required.

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