Community leader calls for action from job centre
The job centre needs to be spending much more time on helping those people who are long-term unemployed back into work.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Labour leader, Ellesmere Port councillor Justin Madders, made the comments after viewing figures from the North West Trades Union Congress (TUC).
They show that in November, 1,085 people in Cheshire West and Chester had been claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance for more than 12 months.
Although the Office of National Statistics has pointed to a fall in unemployment across the North West, the TUC has called for more to be done to tackle the problems hidden by the figures, arguing long-term claimants in the borough will be spending their second successive year out of work but desperately looking for employment.
Lynn Collins, NW TUC regional secretary, said: “We welcome the fall in unemployment but the long-term unemployment figures show there is a clear need for more to be done in the region.
“Seeing people, who want to get back in to work, spend successive Christmases on the dole is not only demoralising for them but damaging for us too.
“Getting people back into work and contributing is what we need and want to see.”
Cllr Madders said: “There’s no doubt that many of the new jobs created are temporary or part time and that unemployment remains stubbornly high, particularly long-term unemployment.
“From what I can see, the job centre spends an awful lot of their time forcing people to jump through unnecessary hoops in an attempt to take away from them the money they need to live on.
“They need to be spending much more time on helping those people who are long-term unemployed back into work.”