Number of young people out of work in Yarmouth plummets by 50pc since last year
- Credit: PA
The number of young people out of work in Great Yarmouth is down 50pc compared figures from this time last year.
There are 195 people aged between 18 - 24 currently claiming jobseekers' allowance (JSA) in the area - according to the latest JobCentre figures - which has plummeted from 390 claimants this time last year, and 255 last month.
And there was a similar picture in the overall figures, with 995 people claiming JSA, compared to 1515 last year, and 1195 last month.
Job Centre manager Julia Nix said although she would put month-on-month figures down to more seasonal work being available, the year-on-year decrease showed the Job Centre was performing better.
'The year on year shows we have just got better at helping people keep a job,' she said. 'We work with local authorities and Great Yarmouth local authority is so committed to helping people find work and keep work.
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'We've started a job club where you come in and we will teach you how to do a CV and look at jobs available and get interviews.'
She also recognised the important role seasonal work played in Yarmouth's unemployment rate. She said of the seasonal trade: 'If you have not got a job now you can find yourself a job if you ask.'
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However Ms Nix acknowledged that the roll out of universal credit in Yarmouth hadn't gone as smoothly as she would have liked.
The borough is so far the only one in the whole of the Central England region to have launched the full universal credit service for new claimants. Other areas had only implemented the service in the simplest of claims.
The new system combines the payment of six working-age benefits for the first time and benefits are paid monthly instead of fortnightly. The amount paid is adjusted using data from HMRC, which means benefits amounts can be tapered based on how many hours a person had worked.
Ms Nix said: 'Others are asking if they can go on it because it gives them flexibility in a seasonal place.
She added it wasn't 'as smooth as we would like it' but said the Job Centre was working with customers to get things moving if there have been delays in payment.
The scheme is completely based online, although people who struggle to use a computer can get help from job centre staff. It is due to be introduced across the whole country by 2020.
Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said: 'The number of people in Great Yarmouth relying on the key out of work benefits has fallen by 1,891 since 2010 – a 66pc drop. Nevertheless, we aren't complacent which is why we're pressing ahead with welfare reforms like Universal Credit making sure that it always pays for people to be in work.
'With the employment rate at a record high, the unemployment rate at its lowest level in over 10 years, and wages up whilst inflation has remained low, we are making sure that everyone can share in the country's wealth.'