Thousands of jobs in Walsall but no-one is applying for them – Birmingham Live

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Thousands of available jobs in Walsall are not being filled despite unemployment levels hitting their highest since the financial crisis of 2008.

Members of Walsall Council’s economy and environment overview and scrutiny committee were told Covid-19 had caused the number of claimants in Walsall to soar above 12,500.

Despite the large number of people out of work sectors such as haulage, logistics, social care and hospitality are still experiencing labour shortages. A report to the committee said there were 5,500 vacancies in April 2021.

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Jane Kaur-Gill, Walsall Council employment and skills manager, said they were now working to make those roles more “attractive” to job seekers.

She added the authority-funded Walsall Works programme – set up in 2012 – will continue to support people into learning, volunteering, work experience and finding employment.

Of the current claimant count of 12,640, 2,555 of them are aged 16-24, 7,250 are aged 25-49 and 2,840 are aged over 50.

Jane Kaur-Gill said: “The pandemic has significantly increased the volume of unemployed. We haven’t seen the levels of unemployment at this level since the recession in 2008.

“In July this year, there were 7,100 on furlough and I am pleased to say, we haven’t noticed a significant increase in the claimant count since furlough ended in September. A lot of people came of furlough earlier so we’re not anticipating the claimant count to go up.

Buy a gift for a child in need and make a #BrumWish 2021 come true

BrumWish 2021 aims to get thousands of Christmas gifts to young children in need across our city – the homeless, the vulnerable, kids in care and kids who have little.

This year’s appeal is bigger and better than ever – because we have teamed up with our partners at #Toys4Birmingham, including Thrive Together Birmingham, the Birmingham Playcare Network, the Edgbaston Foundation and Birmingham Forward Steps.

Also involved are Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Barnardo’s, Spurgeon’s children’s charity, the Springfield project in Sparkhill, St Paul’s Community Development Trust and Your Local Pantry, which runs food hubs in 12 locations across Birmingham and the Black Country.

You can buy a gift from the #Brumwish Amazon Wishlist here.

Or you can collect and drop off donations of new and nearly new toys and gifts to special donation days at Edgbaston Stadium, B5 7QU, on Saturday November 27, Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4, from 11am to 3pm, where volunteers will be waiting to see you.

Brand new or nearly new, unwrapped gifts, books and toys for all ages will be accepted.

You can also donate cash, which will go into a fund held by a charity partner to use to plug gaps or buy specialist toys for children with additional needs. This is the link to make a donation.

“Whilst we have a significant volume of claimants there is also a significant volume of vacancies coming through and there seems to be a mismatch between the aspirations the claimants have versus the types of vacancies coming through.

“We know there are national and local shortages in certain labour markets in particular haulage, logistics and social care and hospitality.

“We’re trying to make those particular sectors more attractive to our residents in Walsall.”

She said Walsall Works offers programmes to the unemployed aimed at boosting their employability and access to training, apprenticeships and placements.

Since the scheme started more than 2,000 people on the programmes have been found jobs with companies who are engaged. Thousands more have been given access to training, work experience or helped into self employment.

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