Fall in number of Lancaster work benefit claims

File photo from 2013: Youth event to promote apprenticeships at lancaster Job Centre. Ethan West from Lancaster with training co-ordinator Val Shemilt from Lancaster and Morecambe College.
File photo from 2013: Youth event to promote apprenticeships at lancaster Job Centre. Ethan West from Lancaster with training co-ordinator Val Shemilt from Lancaster and Morecambe College.

New jobs figures released this week paint a positive picture for young people searching for work in the Lancaster district.

The new Job Centre Plus figures show that the claimant count for 18 to 24-year-olds is 375 people, a reduction of seven per cent over the last 12 months, and 48 per cent since 2010.

The total claimant count – those receiving either Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit – stands at 1,555.

The overall figure has fallen by two per cent over the last 12 months, and by 37 per cent since 2010.

Amanda Jackman, Job Centre Plus employer and partnership manager for Lancashire and Cumbria, said the reason for the reduction in claimants was the commitment of work coaches working for Job Centre Plus.

She said: “Our coaches are working hard to get people into work as quickly and sustainably as possible. Provision, support and training for individuals is key. We’re currently very active in advocating social media in job searches, and people can use #lancsjobs on Twitter to broaden their search potential.

“We have designated hours across the week where we focus on different areas of the district, with the majority of jobs entry level vacancies.”

Ms Jackman said that a lot of vacancies were coming up within the care sector, as well as driving and cleaning positions.

She added that there were a number of jobs coming available within the civil service, and a big recruitment drive in Preston at the moment.

“We’ve got bespoke provision looking at building confidence for our over 50s claimants, and jobs training for graduates, as we get a slight increase in claimants at this time of year.

“There are also opportunities at the moment for Christmas work, in particular at Argos and Clinton Cards,” she added.

There will be jobs fairs at Lancaster Job Centre Plus on September 8, and Morecambe Job Centre on September 28.

Ms Jackman advised those wishing to attend to contact work coaches to ask for a referral to the fairs.

She added: “We’re really pleased with the figures. Our claimants are taking robust steps, there are more jobs out there, and we have many more methods of matching people up with them.

“Anyone that needs support with their Christmas recruitment or has corporate responsibility, please get in touch with your local Job Centre Plus for help and advice.”