Greg discusses local employment issues and challenges with Jobcentre Plus area manager
21 June 2012
Greg discussed the local employment situation and challenges facing those looking for work when he met the Area Manager of Jobcentre Plus, Surrey and Sussex, Mr Richard Vianello, at the local Jobcentre Plus offices in Bexhill last Friday.
Constituency figures from the Office of National Statistics show the numbers claiming Jobseekers Allowance in the Bexhill and Battle constituency fell from 3.7% in March to 3.4% in April. The number of young people in the 18-24 year age group also fell over the same period from 7.8% to 6.9%. However, Greg still remains very concerned about the challenge of finding good jobs for local youngsters.
Greg was told that since the launch of the Youth Contract in April, youth unemployment in Bexhill has fallen significantly – 100 people signed off Job Seekers Allowance in April alone, and the Jobcentre Plus managers and staff are confident of further progress when May’s data is released. Every 18-24 year old can now expect weekly contact with their Personal Advisor at the Jobcentre, who will tailor support to them, from putting together a CV, helping match their current skills to vacancies, and setting up work experience placements to help bolster an individual’s CV.
Following recent changes to the benefits system, local Jobcentres now have more flexibility in how they provide advice and support to jobseekers. They work with other organisations such as the National Careers Service and Sure Trust to help as many people as possible back into work, including single parents and those previously on income support. The Coalition’s new Work Programme provides a holistic approach to finding work and training opportunities which can be tailored to an individual’s needs and is provided by partner organisations under contract with the Department for Work and Pensions.
Greg raised his concern that he has met many young people in Bexhill and Battle who do not have the required practical skills to help them look for work, such as how to write a CV or conduct themselves at interview, when they leave school or college. Mr Vianello said the Jobcentre Plus would be happy to advise local schools on providing practical careers advice and Greg will be inviting Headteachers of local schools and colleges to a roundtable to discuss careers education in the autumn.
Speaking in Bexhill, Greg said “I am pleased with the recent fall in unemployment in Bexhill and Battle and the increase in local job vacancies which is a good sign for the local economy. I appreciate how difficult it is for local people to find employment opportunities but I believe that the Coalition’s reform of the benefits system together with greater support to help people back into work will help to improve the lives of local people.
However, I still want to see more done to help young people prepare for work following formal education and training. I will therefore be inviting Headteachers of local secondary schools and colleges to a roundtable in the autumn for a discussion on careers education.”Top of page