Date: 12/01/2011 Category: Economic Development
Medway has seen one of the largest drops in unemployment across the entire country in the last year.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the number of residents out of work and claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Medway fell by more than 1,500 during 2010, one of the fastest falls in unemployment across the UK.
The 21 per cent drop of 1,658 saw unemployment fall from the figure of 7,659 in January 2010 to 6001 at the end of the year. This shows Medway beating the national average fall of 15 per cent over the same period.
Youth unemployment, affecting 18 to 24 year olds, has also fallen more in Medway than in any other unitary authority across the entire country, dropping 770 to 1,760– a significant fall of 30 per cent. This is nearly twice as much as the national average fall of 15.4 per cent and a stronger fall than the regional average of 24 per cent.
The figures of jobless people have fallen steadily in Medway over the past twelve months, since unemployment peaked across the country at the beginning of 2010, with more work than ever going into tackling unemployment.
To combat the effects of the recession and get Medway back into work, Medway Council has introduced a series of measures targeted towards tackling unemployment and providing skills training.
Many of these measures are run from the Employ Medway Advice Centre in Chatham, a service dedicated to providing support to residents looking for work, which opened last autumn.
To date, more than 380 jobless people have found their way back into work thanks to Medway Council’s Employ Medway service and a further 675 have benefited from training sessions, CV advice and interview tips.
The Future Jobs Fund programme, which provides 18 to 24 year olds with job placements of up to six months at local businesses and organisations has also provide around 230 people with temporary employment since it began last January.
Of these, around 130 have been offered permanent employment at businesses across Medway, including large organisations such as Sainsbury’s and the NHS.
Medway Council’s Portfolio holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth, Cllr Jane Chitty welcomed the recent figures.
She said: “In spite of the recession, we refused to allow this to distract us from the real opportunities and we stand by our commitment to support the people of Medway. We are determined to help get Medway back to work and while I am delighted at these figures, I accept there is more to be done and we are looking at a range of initiatives to ensure we don’t lose momentum.
“Medway Council have responded to the national recession by securing funding from central government and ensuring that our residents have the services and advice they need to get back into work, whether that be further training, CV advice or personalised support."
Employ Medway also works closely alongside other programmes, such as Flexible New Deal Re-ignite, which provides intensive employment support to long term unemployed people and has to date offered training or employment to 675 residents.
For more information on Medway Council’s employment support services, visit the Employ Medway Advice Centre, 99 -101 High Street, Chatham, or phone 01634 336682.