167 people attended a Liverpool city region jobs fair organised by Jobcentre Plus with 43 offered a job on the spot. Tony McDonough reports
More than 40 people secured employment at a Liverpool city region jobs fair in St Helens this month.
Organised by Jobcentre Plus, the event at St Helens Jobcentre during July was attended by 167 jobseekers. They were all given one-to-one coaching by Jobcentre work coaches prior to the day.
Of the 167, 43 were offered jobs on the spot, 30 of which were with telecoms giant BT. A further 81 jobseekers secured second interviews for a variety of roles. Employers attending the event commented on how well prepared people were.
Suzanne Mallon, Merseyside senior employer and partnership lead for Jobcentres in Merseyside, told LBN: “Although we’re in the middle of a hot summer, skilled jobcentre work coaches are working harder than ever to help employers fill record levels of vacancies. It remains our top priority to match the right job with the right person.”
Latest data shows a slight fall in the number of people claiming Universal Credit from May to June in Liverpool city region. As of June 9 there were 168,741 people in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton, in receipt of Universal Credit – a drop of 0.3% from 169,211 on May 12.
Liverpool saw the biggest fall in UC claimants, down 0.9% to 59,299. Claimant numbers in Sefton fell 0.03% to 25,925. However, the four remaining boroughs all saw small rises in their claimant count. Halton and St Helens both saw rises of 0.2% to 15,411 and 18,693 respectively. Knowsley was up 0.05% to 19,080 and Wirral rose 0.02% to 30,333.
Jobcentre staff are also providing English as a second language courses for 30 Ukrainian evacuees in Sefton. The 12-week course will cover basic conversational English/soft skills/job search and English in the workplace.
Suzanne added: “This customer group is very keen to work. However, they face barriers moving onto work because of lack of UK employability skills, difficult personal circumstances and lack of experience in the world of work in the UK.”
Jobcentre staff are also currently recruiting for 30 seasonal retail staff, including shop floor and hospitality roles. In Toxteth the team has secured a new partnership with community organisation We are with you Liverpool. Its representatives attend Jobcentre health hubs to support the most vulnerable customers.
Funding is also being offered through Pathways to work for claimants with little or no digital skills. This is equipped with a virtual reality interview simulator and IT systems purpose built for their provision.
There are also a number of sector-based work academies (SWAPs) in the pipeline to help fill vacancies in the construction sector, where there is significant demand.
“From job opportunities in jobcentres to skills academies for people considering a new career, there’s a huge amount of help available,” said Suzanne. “Our work coaches are working tirelessly to get people at any age, or career stage, into rewarding and stable employment.”