By BEN WOODS Business writer
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Fast-food giant McDonald’s has announced plans to create 180 new jobs in Norfolk as it gets set to launch two new restaurants in the county.
The employment boost, which includes 2,500 new positions in the UK, will see 65 jobs created at a new restaurant in Brundall, near Norwich, while a second restaurant is also planned for West Lynn.
It comes as the latest figures for Norfolk and Waveney revealed that unemployment had fallen 2.1pc in December in contrast to the previous year – with 20,540 people claiming jobseeker’s allowance compared to 20,982 in 2011.
But despite the annual drop, the unemployment rate in the past three months has steadily increased – up 673 from September.
The majority of the rise has been seen in Great Yarmouth, where the claimant count rose by 602. But the increase was similar to spikes seen over the same period in the last four years, suggesting it could be seasonal.
Kenny Russell, Norfolk McDonald’s franchisee, who owns eight restaurants across the county, said: “In 2012 we added some fantastic crew from the local community to our team, many of whom were starting out in their first job and may otherwise not have had the opportunity to join the world of work.
“As a local employer, I believe it’s important for all those who can, to continue giving young people in particular the chance to get workplace experience. I’m confident that in the year ahead there will be the same level of enthusiasm and talent from candidates in Norfolk and I’m looking forward to employing even more young people in my restaurants.” Across East Anglia, unemployment had increased by 1,000 in the three months to November, with 207,000 people unemployed in the region between September and November.
It came despite a record fall nationally that saw 30 million adults in a job in the quarter to last November, up by more than half a million on the previous year.
The figure gave an employment rate of 71pc – the highest since records began in 1971.
Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, said: “A highly-skilled workforce is an important part of any growing business. That’s why I am pleased to see how McDonald’s is providing training and apprenticeships in a range of skills.”