Those with learning disabilities, autism and ex offenders among those to be helped into work by Jobcentre Plus training initiative

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Jobcentre plus logo - Credit: Archant

Pioneering provision by a Norwich college to support those with learning difficulties and autism into work is being considered by Job Centre bosses in a move that could help similar students in Cambridgeshire to find jobs.

Julie Nix, Jobcentre Plus district manager, said offering pre-training courses for those learning disabilities could help plug gaps in the labour market created by Brexit.

She said she had already discussed the idea with employers such as G’s and by turning to the sort of courses run at Norwich this could expand the numbers in Cambridgeshire able to take up work.

The Norwich college has over 200 supported learning students in a highly successful course that has rated by Ofsted as outstanding: Ms Nix believes the training offered could be utilised further afield.

She said bringing in those with learning disabilities, autism and even, under the right circumstances, ex offenders “could create a diverse and new workforce”.

Ms Nix was speaking after latest employment figures show the East Cambs and Fenland area “is still pushing above our weight” as the numbers out of work continue to fall.

Numbers of people in employment have reached a record high and the unemployment is at its lowest level since 1975.

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Government figures show that last year at least 10 employment records were broken; the employment rate and the number of people in work, the number of women in work and black and minority ethnic employment all reached record highs during the year.

Jobcentre Plus says there are also record numbers of vacancies and locally these include


Add Personnel (forklift drivers)

PMP Recruitment (operatives for Del Monte)

Augusta Care (care/support)

Total Security Services (security)

Centre 33


Adecco (20 jobs)

Asda (10 jobs)

Total Security (25)

Voyage Care (20)

Haines Recruitment (15)

Cambridgeshire County Council –reablement division (35)


Poundstretcher (10)

Cambs County Council (25)

Hales Group (15, warehouse/forklift/catering/cleaning)

New companies coming to Cambridgeshire include Haines Recruitment (15) Monkfield Nutrition, Meal (moving from Royston) and Gap Group Construction, Ely.

Jobcentre Plus said interviews for those jobs that are on offer are sometimes held on site or at the Jobcentre Plus offices. Ms Nix said it was always best to check beforehand.