More than 100 jobs are now currently being advertised by construction firms in the Huddersfield area, it has emerged.
Staff at Huddersfield Jobcentre Plus are working with companies in the sector to offer apprenticeships on a local new housing site or work trials for jobseekers who want to find out what the job entails before they commit to it.
Jo Ledgard from Huddersfield Jobcentre said construction contributed more than £90bn to the UK economy and employed 2.9m people – 10% of all jobs – in more than 280,000 businesses.
“There are literally hundreds of different skills and trades needed in construction from labouring, machine drivers and operators to architects and site managers,” she said.
“Recognising the opportunities that a growing sector can provide, Jobcentre Plus in Huddersfield are working alongside a variety of companies such as BAM and Morgan Sindall to help with up-skilling staff as well as jobseekers about working on a building site. We are also able to offer real life work experience to customers and show them the jobs available.
“As well apprenticeships there are also courses offered locally to provide insight and entry level qualifications in skills that will be useful in this sector.
“Within a five-mile radius of Huddersfield there are over 100 vacancies within the construction sector easily found on the internet. Employers are also advertising apprenticeships as a way to entice young people into the sector.”
The comments came as official figures showed the number of people in work in the UK reached a record high in the quarter to January – up by 168,000 to 32.2m, the highest figure since records began in 1971.
Despite that unemployment rose by 24,000 to 1.45m. The jobless tally is 127,000 lower than a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and is at a record low for men aged 25 to 34.
The claimant count, which includes people on Jobseeker’s Allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit, increased by 9,200 last month to 837,800, the highest for more than three years. Among parliamentary constituencies, the claimant count for February in Huddersfield rose by 110 to 2,040 while the Colne Valley figure was up by 80 to 1,255. However, both figures are 51% lower than five years ago.
The quarterly unemployment figure for Yorkshire rose by 5,000 to 136,000.