Unemployment rises but the future is bright

Unemployment is on the rise again
Unemployment is on the rise again

JOB Centre bosses aren’t worrying about last month’s rise in unemployment, saying it is “usual” for this time.

The total number of claimants for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and Universal Credit rose by 370 to 5,715 in the space of one month.

We are doing lots of work with our partnership organisations in the borough. We are promoting jobs and opportunities that unemployed people can look at

Julie Wills

It’s a busy time of year for the Jobcentre Plus, with many people leaving temporary contracts and jobs they had over Christmas.

Many who don’t find work again straight away end up on the JSA claimants list but it is an issue that is faced annually and one that bosses feel they are equipped to deal with, with more and more job opportunities opening up.

It’s the first time since last January that the figure has risen.

The number of people aged between 16 to 24 has also followed that trend, going up by 60 to 1,515.

Julie Wills of Jobcentre Plus in Wigan said: “It’s the January claimant count and that always takes a rise.

“A lot of people who have had Christmas jobs or temporary work, those contracts come to an end.

“It’s the way it is at this time of year, there is always a rise in the amount of claimants.

“We are doing lots of work with our partnership organisations in the borough. We are promoting jobs and opportunities that unemployed people can look at.”

Recent news shows that more job opportunities are set to open across the borough.

With the impending opening of the new Poundland warehouse plus plans for new retail businesses at Robin Park, Jobcentre Plus bosses are looking to work with employers.

“We are engaging with those employers,” added Ms Wills. With the opening of the Poundland warehouse later this year, 300 jobs will be created which will provide lots of opportunities. At Robin Park we are going to make contact with the prospective employers.

“There’s going to be a KFC and a Costa amongst others so those people interested in that industry will be kept informed of opportunities.

“There are also plans for a Nando’s, a Bella Italia and a new hotel so those are places we are looking to work with too.”

“We had a fantastic skills and guidance event in Ashton recently. Lots of partner organisations and people came down to talk about opportunities.

“They are also great for finding out volunteer opportunities and getting people set up with interviews and doing placements.

“It shows how our partnerships are working and it brings people into us. Next month is also National Apprenticeship month, which is something we will also be heavily involved in.