ACROSS TEESSIDE: High vacancies in care and manufacturing
A dredger sails under the Transporter Bridge on the River Tees, Image: PD Ports
A jobcentre leader says care, manufacturing, and freight transport are seeing high vacancies at the moment across Teesside.
National employment figures were released by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday – showing the North East saw its employment rate stand at 70.7% between July and September.
This was down 0.8% on the same period in 2020.
But the unemployment rate has dropped over the same period for those aged 16 to 64 in the region – while the job “inactivity rate” has risen in that time.
Job vacancies nationally now stand at a record high of almost 1.2m.
Jackie Sayer, from the Jobcentre, said Christmas jobs were also coming onto the market.
She added: “Among all that we still have a large number of small employers advertising vacancies on social media who are saying they need someone tomorrow – and are getting people.”
Ms Sayer said Royal Mail was among employers trying to fill staff gaps for the festive season, as well as retail stores offering temporary contracts.
“Temporary contracts are a good way for people to get into work with the hope of getting something permanent or having something on their CV for another employer,” she added.
“It’s so exciting at the moment with things going on like Kickstart.”
The Department for Work and Pensions launched the £2bn Kickstart Scheme to provide funding to create six month paid work placements for young people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
Businesses can apply for the scheme until December 17 – with the final start date for young people extended to March 31 next year.
Hospitality, care, manufacturing, logistics and freight transport, security, administration and call centres are areas hiring at the moment, the Jobcentre says.
First Source call centre hiring for 250 new roles at its new base in Centre Square has been listed by the service.
Newcastle firm Echo-U is also recruiting for between 100 and 150 vacancies at Boho Zero, in Gosford Street.
And Froneri UK, an ice cream company, is recruiting 50 production workers and an extra 100 staff after Christmas for its factory at Leeming Bar.
But it’s logistics and freight transport, manufacturing and care where the highest vacancies are being seen.
Training has long been a stumbling block for Tees Valley.
A March skills report written by the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) showed the number of residents with higher level skills stood below the national average – with the Tees Valley having a higher than average number of residents with no qualifications.
Sector-based work academies are part of the aim to help turn this around, according to the Jobcentre.
These are designed to help those receiving unemployment benefits apply for jobs in different areas of work with placements of up to six weeks.
Middlesbrough-based Hand2Hold, care giant Meridian, Creative Support and Future for Families are among employers offering placements in the health and social care sector.
The Jobcentre says participants get a level one certificate in introduction to health and social care and children’s and young people’s settings, moving and handling, safeguarding as part of the process.
Hospitality training on placements at The Arc, Jurys Inn, Middlesbrough Football Club are also available.
Middlesbrough College is holding an employment and careers fair on Thursday from 10am until 3pm at Queens Square.
Meanwhile, Redcar and Cleveland Council is hosting a health and social care jobs fair on Thursday, November 25, at Tuned In, Majuba Road, Redcar.
Security firms are also offering academy placements to help prepare workers for interviews, with first aid and funded SIA licences.
The Jobcentre added vacances were available with Close Protection Security, NE Security and Aventus.
Road maintenance positions are also up for grabs with those completing courses having a guaranteed interview with either Addison Plant ltd, in Thornaby, or Paisley Site Services, Middlesbrough.
Guaranteed interviews with First Source, AXA and Barker and Stonehouse were also available via the courses.
However, figures from the DWP have also shown a rise in Universal Credit claimants across Teesside.
Middlesbrough saw 20,067 claimants in October compared to 19,858 in September, while Redcar and Cleveland recorded 13,693 in October up from 13,458 in September.
More detailed employment figures for Teesside are set to be released in January.
Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter
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