Number of online job ads in West Midlands up 20 per cent since start of Covid

The number of online job adverts in the West Midland has risen by 21.5 per cent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

This was revealed as a new campaign was launched to help get 500,000 benefit claimants into jobs by end of June.

The Way to Work campaign aims to help fill record numbers of vacancies nationwide.

It will focus on getting job-ready people off Universal Credit and into work, rapidly filling vacancies which are at a record high.

The campaign is targeted mainly at those in the intensive work search group on Universal Credit.

The latest unemployment figure for the West Midlands was 138,000 – down 4,000 on the previous quarter .

To support people into work faster those who are capable of work will be expected to search more widely for available jobs from the fourth week of their claim, rather than from three months as is currently the case.

This clearer focus will ensure that, if people are not able to find work in their previous occupation or sector, they are expected to look for work in another sector and this will be part of their requirements for receiving their benefit payment.

For the vast majority of people who are already engaging fully with Jobcentre Plus, this could be the extra support they need to secure a job. However, for the small minority who do not engage, the sanctions regime will operate as usual.

People will be supported with more time spent face to face with a work coach to receive better, tailored support.

Mark Whitehouse, a Jobcentre Plus senior partnership manager, based in Birmingham, said: “Our dedicated work coaches in the West Midlands are working flat out to help people get back into work as we bounce back from the pandemic.

“We want people to know we’re there for them and that we’re working with employers to identify and help fill their vacancies in all sectors, especially key industries.”

Building on the success of the Kickstart scheme, DWP will work with a wider range of employers to establish positive relationships and show them the good quality of candidates coming through Jobcentres.

This includes through direct engagement with employers across booming sectors like construction, haulage and logistics and social care, and more than 350 jobs fairs across Great Britain in the coming months.

Major employers including Balfour Beatty, Whitbread Group, TalkTalk, Bourne Leisure, Ocado and Kier are already throwing their weight behind the campaign.

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