Merseyside sees demand for jobs in hospitality, care, construction and distribution

New figures reveal a record number of people in work in the North West as Jobcentre Plus in Merseyside looks to upskill jobseekers to fill vacancies. Tony McDonough reports

kitchen, chef, hospitality, restaurant
Jobcentre Plus is helping people to fill vacancies in the hospitality sector


A record 3.55m people were employed in the North West in the final quarter of 2019, new data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

The figure was up by 76,000 in the quarter and up 52,000 on the year. The employment rate stood at 76.2%, the highest rate in record for the region. The number of people unemployed stood at 154,000, a rate of 4.2%.

In the Liverpool city region, the claimant count stands at 39,069 and Jobcentre Plus is report a rise in job vacancies in the hospitality, care, construction and distribution sectors across the six boroughs of Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, Halton and St Helens.

Jobcentre staff across the city region are helping to upskill jobseekers to fill the variety of roles in the care sector. Jobcentre Plus is working in partnership with First Ark to organise a Jobs fair specifically for the care sector within Knowsley on February 27.

On the construction sector, Jobcentre spokesperson for the city region, Gemma Batchelor, said: “We are continuing to train our customers for the demands within the sector. CCDO is still a sort after qualification (demolition) and two of the customers from our database have been offered demolition work in Holland and France earning £220 per day.”

In February, Jobcentre Plus will be running a campaign to promote vacancies in hospitality called ‘Hospitality Works’.  Within Merseyside, it has secured the backing of organisations, such as Liverpool FC, Crowne Plaza, Richmond Hotel, Strawberry Fields, Art School and Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Gemma added: “They have all agreed to put on events for staff and customers, to raise awareness of the many opportunities in the sector.  We will also be promoting vacancies in the sector, such as for new bars and restaurants opening up in the St Helens area.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Liverpool John Lennon Airport is backing the drive to get more people into hospitality


“Haven are looking to recruit 150 people for the summer season as are Pontins, who are holding recruitment days, on January 24 and 25.  Premier Inn Albert Dock is holding a recruitment event on January 23, with pre-screening for places on the day being carried out by Jobcentre Plus.”

Other highlights include:

  • Eight ex-offenders have started bus driver training programme with local bus company HTL. Jobcentre Plus has 10 places available for class 2 driver training for Merseyside customers.
  • HMRC is offering 150 vacancies available for customer service admin roles.
  • Toxteth Jobcentre is holding a Women’s Empowerment Event on January 23 from 9.30am to 1pm. More than 100 customers will be attending.  Several employers and partnership organisations will be there to offer support and job opportunities.

Jobcentre Plus has also supported The Back Kitchen – Liverpool, run by Liverpool Homeless Football Club, using its employer and partnership contacts, to promote, support and advise the people running the business.

Gemma said: “The Back kitchen (a bespoke catering pod) supports people experiencing homeless to move towards employment, further training or volunteering. It offers learning techniques for managing stress, building up self-esteem and confidence, developing practical catering skills, gaining qualifications in basic food preparation and food hygiene.”

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