New location for Sleaford Jobcentre Plus and a jobs and careers fair planned

Some of the computer stations for jobseekers in the new Jobcentre Plus facilities. EMN-150224-171108001

Some of the computer stations for jobseekers in the new Jobcentre Plus facilities. EMN-150224-171108001

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Businesses, councillors, officers and jobseekers gathered today (Tuesday) at North Kesteven District Council’s Sleaford offices to formally welcome the Sleaford Jobcentre Plus to its new home and observe its digital services.

The breakfast networking event on invited businesses to have a chat with the Jobcentre Plus team at the new Jobcentre — which recently moved into spare space in the council’s Kesteven Street offices from Southgate — to learn more about how it has transformed over the years and meet other firms in the area.

The event also featured talks from Jobcentre Plus’s District Operations Manager for Lincolnshire and Rutland, Bryan Cole, Chief Executive of the Council Ian Fytche, and Deputy Leader of the Council, Coun Mike Gallagher, which all explained the benefits of the two organisations working even closer together to improve the local economy.

Figures show that Sleaford Jobcentre has worked especially hard to relieve the effects of the recession on residents. At the height of recession, the centre dealt with 824 jobseekers in the local area. Today, there are only 360 people seeking employment through the service.

Businesses took a look around the new facilities, learning how the digital services work and about Universal Credit, plus how work experience opportunities could assist them. It is hoped the event relieved the image of the old Jobcentres and instead portrayed a fresher image, with better software and easier access to help for both claimants and businesses.

Coun Gallagher welcomed everyone to the launch and said: “The economy is one of the council’s key priorities, and it aims to support both new and old businesses, from dealing with any issues they may have to helping them get started. Sectors such as food, agriculture, construction and tourism are growing rapidly in the district, and since the height of the recession we have seen unemployment fall dramatically in the area.

“Our officers work closely with Jobcentre Plus to aid jobseekers in finding employment. Now Sleaford Jobcentre Plus is in the NKDC offices we look forward to establishing stronger ties, and we’re very pleased to have the organisation here. I formally welcome the Jobcentre to its new home.”

Chief Executive Ian Fytche added: “It’s great to see two important organisations put together — it’s projects like this that are at the heart of maintaining strong public service levels for residents.”

○ Sleaford Jobcentre and NKDC will also be hosting a Jobs and Careers Fair at the council offices on March 19, 10am-2pm. There will be advice on all aspects of job hunting, apprenticeships, self employment and more, plus a chance to speak to representatives from Mid UK Recycling, the Co-op, ISS, Autism Care, the Armed Forces and many more. Call 01529 221019 for more information.