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Support for job seekers aids fall in unemployment across Yorkshire

By Anna Riley

THE NUMBER of unemployed people in the Yorkshire and Humber area has fallen, according to government figures released this morning.

The Office of National Statistics reported a drop of around 10% in joblessness in the region. The number of people unemployed in the last three months is down by 15,000, with 144,000 still unable to find work.

Queues outside Seacroft Job Centre

The drop is in part due to efforts in the Leeds area to help jobseekers find work, such as through the services provided by organisations such as the LS14 Trust in Seacroft.

Marie Muhl, the community project manager at LS14, said: “LS14 is a community centre that works to improve the area and help people find work through teaching employability skills.

“We run ‘job clubs’ where we assist people with their CVs, teach computer skills and carry out practice interviews and have successfully got members of the community back in to work.”

“I used to be unemployed and came to the LS14 Trust as a volunteer to get some work experience and now work here full time. It is a fantastic place and really makes a different to people’s lives.”

The centre is funded by the council, who have made helping people gain employment one of its priorities. This included holding a jobs fair at the White Rose Shopping Centre, which secured employment for 266 people.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for employment, skills and opportunity, said: “We are always looking at new and innovative ways to make sure that people have the opportunity to access job employment activities that are available in the city.

“As part of our programme of activities this includes holding a range of job fairs which have proved to be extremely popular and well received by both the public and employers.”

However, the outlook is still grim for some people trying to find an occupation.

A jobseeker at Seacroft Job Centre today said: “It so depressing to have to come here so I can make a claim – there is so much stigma attached to it.

“I just want to find work but can’t really find anything suitable at the moment.”

Nationally the unemployment rate has fallen to a 10-year low. It is currently at 1.62 million meaning the UK has one of the lowest figures in the EU, behind only Germany and the Czech Republic in percentage terms.

More information on jobs currently available in Leeds can be found here.

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