Low unemployment - latest figures

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 July 2012

Archant

LATEST Government figures show the unemployment rate in the South West is one of the lowest in the UK, as various support courses boast success.

The National Office for Statistics released figures last week which revealed the South West has an employment rate of 6.1 per cent, compared with 8.4 per cent across the UK.

The picture looks even rosier in North Somerset, where the rate is even lower, with just 5.4 per cent out of work.

With many organisations focussing their efforts on getting unemployed people back tinto the workplace, it is not surprising the region boasts such a low rate.

One such course, Weston College’s Aspire training, has already helped 500 learners aged 16-65, with 64 per cent of the first intake gaining jobs, training, or entering an apprenticeship.

Craig Chase, aged 26, of Winscombe, was an unemployment statistic after being made redundant. He attended Aspire in May and has been taken on full-time by Smurfit Kappa UK, a corrugated packaging manufacturers and recycling expert, which employs 169 people on the Oldmixon Estate.

Craig said: “I’d worked for seven years and being unemployed was the worst experience of my life. I was desperate for work. Aspire helped me with my CV, to look at my strengths and prepare for interviews because I’d never had one.”

Help is also being offered through Alliance Homes job club, which targets the housing company’s residents.

The club is working closely with Westonworks, Weston College and Learn Direct to offer residents the chance to learn about job searching, CV writing, filling in job application forms and interview techniques.

Michael Williams, business enterprise manager at Alliance Homes, says: “From the feedback we get from residents, we know that there is a real need for a service like this.

“In this sort of tough economic climate, finding work can be an uphill struggle, especially if extra training is required. We want to help people get the confidence and the skills to get back into work.”

For more information on Aspire, contact 01934 411594, or to find information about Alliance Homes’ job club, call 03000 120120 or email recruitment@alliancehomes.org.uk

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