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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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North-west jobseekers improve employability with extra skills

Thousands of jobseekers in the North West are improving their employability with further training

By Annabel Howard

More than 374,000 referrals between August 2011 and February 2014 were made by Jobcentre Plus for benefit claimants in the region to see a training provider, the National Careers Service, or to be placed directly onto skills courses, so they could have a better chance of landing a job.

North West Jobcentre Plus manager Phil Royle said: “Jobcentre staff can offer a wide range of support to jobseekers to help them find work, whatever their barriers might be.

“We know that people with lower qualifications might struggle more to get a job, so the more skills a person can demonstrate, the more they have to offer an employer. And for young people, who may also lack experience, it’s doubly important.

“But it’s not just formal qualifications that can boost a person’s employability, softer skills like demonstrating the right attitude, motivation, and punctuality are also highly valued by employers.”

Once a Jobcentre Plus adviser has identified a lack of skills as being the major contributing factor preventing someone from getting a job, they can be mandated to attend a suitable training course. If someone fails to take part without good reason they risk having their benefits sanctioned.

Of all referrals through Skills Conditionality in the North West, 130,930 were directed to the National Careers Service for a skills health check, with a further 138,370 referrals being made to a training provider for an initial interview, and 104,950 sent directly to training courses for the likes of basic skills and occupational skills..

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