‘You must not want a job not to have one’ says Job Centre boss
- Credit: JOB CENTRE PLUS
There are so many jobs available in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire “you must not want a job not to have one”.
That’s the conclusion of Julie Nix, East Anglia District Manager for the Department for Work and Pensions.
She accepts it is probably easier to get to work if you live in Ely rather than Wisbech and the Fenland villages but even then, help is available.
“If they really want a job and use transport as an excuse for not taking it, then we can help there too,” she says.
Her department is offering incentives such as a moped scheme, bicycles, bus passes or even train tickets to get people back into work.
“If I am honest, we can get them there if they want to,” she says.
Ms Nix says vacancies are piling up across a whole range of businesses in the area.
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“If you and I spoke to all the industries struggling to find seasonal or full-time permanent workers you would be amazed at how many are,” she said.
“Our labour market is exceptionally good at the moment.”
Hospitality, social care, logistics and agriculture “are all desperate for people to take up their vacancies” says Julie.
She says once the country fully re-opens after the pandemic, it will be a case of matching people in front of employers who want the skills they have.
If pre-employment training is needed, says Julie, that too can be provided.
For those who have been out of work for some time, she feels the best advice is to get people trying out new jobs through trial runs.
“My advice would be to get them to try anything – a week’s taster or work experience - give it a go, you won’t know until you’ve tried.”
She says she always recalls the young man from King’s Lynn who wanted to be a motor mechanic, trained in it, but then decided it wasn’t for him.
He opted to try several different ‘taster’ weeks and then, she says, he went to try out Tulip, a major Lynn employer.
“He didn’t know that first day he was going to find he wanted, loved and stayed,” she says. “He’s now a senior manager there.”
Job Centres are encouraging ‘kickstart’ a flagship programme to enable people to work for an employer for up to six months, for a minimum of 25 hours a week.
During that time, they get paid the proper rate for the job whilst the employer is given a training grant.
"What we have found most are being taken on in that business afterwards,” she said.
Job Centres are back and fully staffed but Julie says one issue that people are turning up for face-to-face interviews.
She hopes that will change “since employers coming in for interviews is where workers get the chance for a face-to-face interview which is always the best way to do things”.
She says they are working on way to ensure people feel safe to return to Job Centres to seek employment.
Some of the jobs available locally include:
Greene King looking for 10 chefs for various pubs in the Cambridge, Royston and Ely area.
Ely Pizza Express – recruiting for kitchen staff
Wisbech Country Court – looking for two part time housekeepers and a weekend receptionist for Lyncroft Care Home
Wisbech KFC - jobs for three team members and a cook.
Peterborough Cards Direct – the new store will create 10 jobs
Across the East of England, the number of people employed is at 3.08 million - up 14,000 on the quarter and up 31,000 on the year.
The employment rate (aged 16-64) is at 78.1%, the highest employment rate of all regions in the UK - up 0.4%pts on the quarter and up 0.8%pts on the year.
The number of people unemployed is at 127,000 - down 3,000 on the year.
The unemployment rate is at 3.9%, lower than the UK average of 4.7%.