Home > News > Mayor James Palmer urges people to use free recruitment service launched by Combined Authority, as number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the region more than doubles since countrywide lockdown

Mayor James Palmer urges people to use free recruitment service launched by Combined Authority, as number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the region more than doubles since countrywide lockdown

20 May 2020

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The first data on the number of people claiming job seekers allowance since the UK was put into lockdown on 23rd of March has revealed the number has more than doubled across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in the space of just one month.
Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics showed the number of people claiming job seekers allowance across Cambridgeshire and
Peterborough has risen by 58% in April 2020, compared to the previous month.
To help get people back into work, Mayor James Palmer is urging people and businesses to use the CPCA Talent Portal, a commission free, online recruitment platform launched by the Combined Authority of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

Businesses with staff vacancies can send job posts to the Talent Portal team who will advertise job posts for free, identify people with the right skills and connect employers with potential candidates for interview.

People looking for new roles can use the Talent Portal to browse opportunities, upload their CV, apply for positions, and contact potential employers.

Mayor James Palmer, said:

“There is no doubt the nationwide lockdown has hit local businesses and communities hard and the surge in the number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance across the region is further evidence of that. However, I believe together we can get through this. I’ve seen incredible resilience from people and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and an unwavering commitment to come back stronger. I urge people looking for new employment opportunities and businesses looking for staff to use our new, free recruitment service to help them get back to work.”

As a region, the increase in the number of people claiming job seekers allowance is lower than the national average of 65%. However, in some areas the percentage increase has been far higher than the national average, for example in East Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire, it is 86%.

While some areas there has been a lower than average increase, including Peterborough which has seen a 43% climb in the number of people claiming job seekers allowance in April 2020 compared to March.

Since the country was put into lockdown to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Combined Authority has responded with a range of measures to help people and businesses including funding for businesses, online training and the Talent Portal.

The Talent Portal was launched in response to a recognition that businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that have changed the way they operate in response to COVID 19 and, as a result, are looking for new staff with different expertise.

For example, many farms are looking to recruit pickers from the UK to harvest crops because of the restrictions in movement due to the virus and supermarkets now need more delivery drivers as more people are shopping online. Businesses operating in critical sectors, including health and care, need more employees now than before to help keep the country running.

At the same time, many people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have found themselves out of work because of COVID 19 and are looking to enter new industries and take up new roles.

This includes those who have made been redundant, the self-employed who are not eligible for support or who can’t access funding until June, people who have been furloughed from their usual employment, University students returning home with no job and sixth form students who had summer jobs lined up which have now fallen through.

It is hoped the CPCA Talent Portal will help fill a gap in connecting people looking for work with employers looking for new staff.