'Don't let Lancashire jobseekers get left behind'

Briony FawcettBriony Fawcett
Briony Fawcett
A leading Lancashire training provider has called on the government to ensure job seekers aren’t being left behind as a result of the current lockdown.

Job seekers in the North West are more likely than in any other region of England to be left behind by services moving online as a result of the current restrictions, according to PHX Training.

Official figures show that people out of work are four times less likely to have access to the internet at home.

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Also, one in four people who aren’t in work don’t own a laptop or PC to make job applications, video interviews or online training easier.

The figures, from communications regulator Ofcom, show the issue is most prevalent in the North West, as the region leads the figures for poorest digital access in England.

PHX Training, which has job centres in Blackpool, Preston and Morecambe, has moved all of its training courses online to reduce the risk of Covid-19, but has found lack of access to computers and quality internet has meant some learners have struggled to keep up.

Briony Fawcett, managing director at PHX Training said: “While online learning, job applications and video interviews are the safest approach for everybody while the virus is spreading, we need to make sure that we aren’t marginalising those people who don’t have routine access to the technology that is vital to learning.

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“For people who don’t have computer or internet access in their home, the only alternative is to go to the library or visit training centres, but not everybody will be comfortable with taking the bus or a taxi into town at the moment, and these settings are not always to perfect environment to carry out a task such as a video call or job interview.

“As a country, we need to make sure that people who are out of work or more vulnerable aren’t disadvantaged further.”

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