Wigan jobs figures: claimant count rises but number of opportunities praised

The number of Wiganers claiming out-of-work benefits has risen sharply but employment bosses have praised the opportunities available in the borough.

The latest Government figures show there are 7,803 people receiving assistance, with 1,344 in the 18-to-24 age bracket.

Wigan's latest employment figutes releases

Wigan's latest employment figutes releases

These are rises of 10 and eight per cent respectively on the figures from a year ago, although the claimant counts have fallen hugely over a five-year period.

The data was recently adjusted following the roll-out of Universal Credit bringing many more people with wider circumstances into the work of the Jobcentre.

The new statistics try to work out what the figures would have been throughout the last five years if the full Universal Credit roll-out had been in place all that time.

Penny Applegate, a DWP partnership manager, said factors like the rising female retirement age and businesses simply struggling to keep up staffing levels could be responsible.

However, the Jobcentre was very positive about the state of the borough jobs market.

More than 100 offers of employment have now been made at Greene King’s new Primrose Farm site and there are recruitment days this month for Albert’s restaurant in Standish.

Jones Brothers, which is building the new Wigan link road, has an apprenticeships open day on May 29 in the Wigan Life Centre North from 10am until 2pm.

NHS employment offers are being made following a training programme and there are driving courses available at Diamond Buses.