Jobs bosses back roll-out of Universal Credit in St Helens

A Jobcentre Plus
A Jobcentre Plus
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Employment bosses have praised the roll-out of Universal Credit in St Helens.

The DWP spoke as the latest labour market statistics showed there were 3,570 people claiming out-of-work benefits in the borough in November.

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Of those 2,055 were men and 1,515 women, with 765 young jobseekers in the 18-to-24-year-old age bracket.

While this is the third successive month the claimant count has risen this was expected as Universal Credit means Jobcentre Plus staff are now working with a far broader range of customers than previously.

The DWP said the positive work going on locally and the upbeat national headlines on employment suggested things are going well in St Helens too.

DWP spokesman Clive Morris said: "We believe we are supporting the people of St Helens to make claims with Universal Credit. We have prepared them well and are giving them the tools they need.

"We promote all the help that is out there with Universal Credit and are particularly helping people who need digital support.

"The position in St Helens is undoubtedly strong. A lot of seasonal jobs have already been filled but there are still quite a lo of warehousing opportunities out there.

"We are also seeing more construction opportunities coming up across the whole Liverpool city region.

"We are working with employers to see what skills they are short of and how we can fill those gaps."

Nationally the employment rate stands at 75 per cent, with the unemployment rate at 4.1 per cent.

Ministers said these figures were the healthiest they have been in some four decades.