Jobless rate falls but it’s still tough

UNEMPLOYMENT has fallen in the north of the county but job-seekers are still facing a tough time.

New figures show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Corby fell from 2,196 in March to 2,148 in April.

In Kettering the jobless figure fell to 2,312 in April from 2,350 in March.

In East Northamptonshire the figure fell from 1,587 in March to 1,543 last month and in Wellingborough it fell from 2,239 to 2,126.

Despite the slight fall, an organisation working to help people enhance their work skills said the job market is still tough, especially for young people.

Paul Jackson, chief executive of Kettering Centre for the Unemployed, an independent educational charity based in Kettering, said: “Youth unemployment is still a big problem.

“Employers are looking for young people with experience but they can’t get employment to gain new experience.

“It’s a vicious circle.

“We need to create a culture where young people can play a real role in society.”

KCU offers a wide range of skills training and educational courses aimed at helping people to be more competitive in the jobs market.

Mr Jackson said: “People in their early or mid-50s are being made redundant, but our message is to stay positive.

“Anyone seeking employment can increase their chances of success by training, or even by gaining some experience through volunteering.”

In the coming months the competition for jobs in Corby is expected to increase as redundancies announced earlier in the year at Tata Steel, Argos and Eddie Stobart’s depot take effect.

Today a support service is being launched at Tata’s Corby plant where 110 jobs are being axed.

The purpose of the day is to provide information on benefits and training opportunities to workers whose jobs are at risk.