Flexible workforce is helping jobs market

Flexible workforce is helping South Holland get back to employment.
Flexible workforce is helping South Holland get back to employment.
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There’s been another monthly drop in the number of South Holland people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

The number of claimants fell by 71 to 671 between June and July, making South Holland’s unemployment rate 1.3 per cent – lower than the East Midlands (1.6) and Britain (1.7).

Employers are recognising the need to be more flexible because employees actually want that flexibility – they want that ability to work some weekends, nights or afternoon shifts.

Becky Newborough, who heads nine Jobcentres

Spalding alone had 636 JSA claimants in July, 16 fewer than in June.

The latest figures have delighted Becky Newborough, senior operations leader in charge of nine Jobcentres including Spalding, who says our “flexible workforce” is one of the contributing factors to lower unemployment.

She said: “Historically we used to have Monday to Friday, nine to five jobs but we don’t have that any more.

“Employers are recognising the need to be more flexible because employees actually want that flexibility – they want that ability to work some weekends, nights or afternoon shifts.”

Ms Newborough said Spalding Jobcentre works well with employers like Bakkavor and have “lots of sector based work academies”, where the Jobcentre offers pre-employment training which gives people the chance to have work experience in the actual environment before they formally apply for a job.

She said: “There’s a guaranteed job interview at the end of it.”

The Jobcentre also links with others on driver training programmes because there’s a shortage of light goods vehicle and heavy goods vehicle drivers.

Across Lincolnshire, it’s the first time in a decade that the JSA claimant total has dropped below 7,000.

In July there were 6,994 county claimants – down by 83 on the June figure and around 1,750 fewer than a year ago.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the East Midlands had seen close to two million more people in jobs since 2010.

He said: “On top of that, there are a record number of people in work in the East Midlands.”