Why is it important?
This indicator measures the percentage of the working age population who are claiming out of work benefits. This includes people claiming Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance / Incapacity Benefit, Income Support due to being a lone parent and others income-related benefit.
The longer someone is out of work the harder it is for that person to get back into work and unemployment is detrimental to mental health; the longer someone is unemployed, the more vulnerable they are to depression and anxiety. There are several characteristics that the workless population share which become barriers to employment such as disability, ethnicity, age, qualifications, lone parents and ex-offenders. A number of groups experience particular disadvantage and are at greater risk of becoming workless. In addition, worklessness can be characterised by multiple-disadvantage, where people face more than one barrier to employment.
More recently however the current economic climate has had a significant impact on benefit claimants with skilled workers finding themselves on benefits as companies struggle to prosper in the current climate.
What influences performance of this indicator?
There is a direct correlation between the amount of jobs in the labour market and unemployment levels. The economic climate over the last three years has led to a reduction in jobs and therefore an increase in people claiming out of work benefits.
The health of the national economy obviously has a major impact on the local economy.
What is the council’s role?
There are measures which the council and other partners can undertake to address unemployment locally. Broadly speaking there are two main measures; creating jobs and supporting people not in work into employment. Initiatives currently being undertaken by the council to support this are:
Apprenticeship Programme – the council has pledged to take on 40 new apprentices each year over the next 4 years. Sixteen people have been recruited in roles including horticulture, customer series, health and social care with further interviews taking place at the end of June.
Links 2 Employment – the council is creating 36 work placements across the council, working for 40 weeks. The scheme is open to anyone claiming Job Seekers Allowance for up to 12 months and educated to below NVQ level 2. All placements will complete and NVQ level 2 qualification and employability skills qualification in post.
Regional Growth Fund – the council, working on behalf of the Tata Steel Taskforce, has been successful in securing £10 million of funding from the government’s Regional Growth Fund. This money will help to create at least 500 new jobs in North Lincolnshire through allocating grants to businesses looking to invest in the area.
Jobs and Careers event – the council is organising an annual jobs and careers event to bring together training, universities, colleges and employers in order to inspire young people to consider options they had never previously thought about when thinking about their future jobs and careers.
How is North Lincolnshire Performing?
The latest figures released in August 2011 show 13.6 percent of working age people on out of work benefits in North Lincolnshire which is in line with the regional figure.
The figure has fallen slightly, although consistently, since February 2010 when it peaked at 14.1 percent.
Who are our partners?
Job Centre Plus – provides services that support people of working age, from welfare into work and helping employers to fill their vacancies.
Work Programme Providers e.g. In Training, Inspire 2 Independence
North Lincolnshire Developments – available for North Lincolnshire based business start-ups and existing small businesses. Aimed at people who cannot raise the full amount of finance needed from the usual sources such as banks, for a variety of reasons.
UK Steel Enterprise – work in steel areas across the UK assisting job and wealth creation by supporting small and medium enterprises with finance and premises.
National Apprenticeship Service – supports, funds and co-ordinates the delivery of apprenticeships throughout England.
Prince’s Trust – run programmes that encourage young people to take responsibility for themselves – helping them build the life they choose rather than the one they’ve ended up with.
View further benefits data through the North Lincolnshire Data Observatory