A drive is under way to encourage employers in Huddersfield to offer work experience to the over 45s.
Staff at Huddersfield Jobcentre are taking part in a West Yorkshire-wide pilot scheme, 45Plus, to help older people who have lost their jobs in one sector to sample work in other areas.
Ann Sykes, Jobcentre employment and partnership manager for Kirklees and Calderdale, said: “We are continuing to work with employers to get people into work – and more and more often we are achieving this by using work experience.
“We have started 45Plus as a pilot because of the success of similar work experience schemes with younger people. For young people, work experience has helped people who have never had a job. For older people, it is helping them to change sectors.”
Her comments came as latest figures from the office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the UK jobless tally hit a seven-year in the first three months of 2015 – while record numbers are now in work, according to official figures.
Unemployment stood at 1.83m for the first quarter – although the latest quarterly reduction of 35,000 was the smallest for almost two years.
Unemployment in Yorkshire and Humber rose by 13,000 to 177,000 between January and March, but was down by 41,000 on a year ago. The number of people in work in the region now stands at 2.5m – up by 26,000 on the year.
The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance across the UK fell by 12,600 in April to 763,000, the 30th consecutive monthly reduction.
The claimant count in Huddersfield fell by 227 last month to stand at 2,093 while the Colne Valley figures was 108 lower at 1,301. The Yorkshire claimant count was 1,200 down at 84,500. Across Kirklees the April total of 6,753 is 229 down on the previous month and 2,785 lower than April last year – a fall of 29%.