Businesses steam on to help tackle unemployment in Hartlepool

Jobcentre Plus in Hartlepool.
Jobcentre Plus in Hartlepool.

Cafe culture is helping to give Hartlepool a jobs boost, according to employment bosses.

The latest Jobcentre Plus figures show the number of people out of work is lower now than 12 months ago, with 2,760 unemployed compared to 2,285.

Although this campaign is aimed specifically at young people, work experience is available to all ages and anyone interested in taking advantage of it can speak to their local Jobcentre for more information.

Cath Robson

Of those on the look out for a new position, 675 are aged between 18 and 24, with extra efforts being put into a project which gives them the chance to gain work experience with the help of businesses in the town.

The new branches of Costa Coffee in Middleton Grange, a second at the marina and a third within Next in Anchor Business Park, three relaunched bars in the marina and the Frankie and Benny’s restaurant due to open are helping to boost job opportunities.

Cath Robson, external relations and partnership manager for the Durham and Tees district, said: “The North East in general still has high unemployment levels compared to other parts of the country, but in Hartlepool in particular there has been a lot activity with the new Costas and one of those is going to have extended hours.

“Costa is keen to work with us and use local unemployed people.

“Frankie and Benny’s, which will open in the old Burger King, also has a national contract with us and is working closely with our team.

“What we are also looking at across the North East is trying to work with school leavers and young unemployed people to offer work experience.

“Through Get In Go Far, we are working with employers, because what we are finding is if they don’t have work experience, they have nothing to talk about in interviews and have nothing to put on their CV and no references.

“When they have work experience they have much better chances and we know a lot of employers are keen.

“We’re also looking at mentors as well and working though Facebook and social media to get the message out there to these young people.”

The project to target young jobless people in the area sees the Department for Work and Pensions partner Youth Employment UK to inspire them and encourage them to sign up for placements.

Mrs Robson added: “Although this campaign is aimed specifically at young people, work experience is available to all ages and anyone interested in taking advantage of it can speak to their local Jobcentre for more information.”

Across the region, the employment rate is at a record high of 71.2% with over 1.2million people in work, with a pledge from the Government it is not being complacent, with officials pressing ahead with welfare reforms such as Universal Credit.