Sunderland’s car plants drive up chances of job opportunities despite rise in unemployment

Nissan and its supply chain are helping Wearsiders to find jobs.
Nissan and its supply chain are helping Wearsiders to find jobs.
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Wearside’s thriving automotive industry is credited with getting more people into work - although figures show a rise in unemployment.

The latest statistics show 5,515 are seeking work, a rise from 5,285 this time last year, with 1,330 of those hunting for jobs being aged between 18 and 24,

We’re in a position of strength, but we can’t be complacent which is why we’re pressing ahead with our welfare reforms like Universal Credit to ensure it always pays for people to be in work.

Minister for Employment Damian Hinds

Across the North East, Jobcentre Plus say more than 1.2million people - 71.2% - are in employment, putting it at “all time high”.

They say there has been a fall in unemployment by 4,000 people compared to a year ago.

Jobcentre Plus bosses say many roles are being found at Nissan and in its supply chain, including firms such as Unipress and Johnson Controls and distribution company Vantec.

Go North East is also preparing to take on 200 people.

Steve McCall, employer relationship manager for Sunderland, said: “There are distribution, warehouse and logistics jobs, but we’re staring to see recruitment begin for Christmas, so restaurants, hotels, bars and the shops are now starting to look.

“There are always call centres and care jobs, but at Jobcentre Plus we try to make sure we find people with the skills, so it might not be a job they would go for, but it is something they can do.

“This is especially when it comes to younger people, so 18 to 24-year-olds, where we’ve seen a 3% drop.”

Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds, said: “These record-breaking figures show that there are more people in work than ever before, which is great news as we build a Britain that works for everybody not just the privileged few.

“There’s great news in the North East where the employment rate is at a record high of 71.2% with over 1.2 million people in work.

“We’re in a position of strength, but we can’t be complacent which is why we’re pressing ahead with our welfare reforms like Universal Credit to ensure it always pays for people to be in work.

“The job now is to build on this success story so that everybody can benefit from the opportunities that are being created regardless of who they are or where they come from.”

Paul Carbert, North East England Chamber of Commerce policy adviser, said: “There is some really good news for the region in these latest employment figures, with the number of people in employment at another record high, continuing recent trends.

“Our employment rate in the North East has increased by more over the past year than any other region.

“With the A-level results tomorrow putting the focus on young people’s futures in the region, it is also positive that youth unemployment - 16 to 24-year-olds, has fallen by 4,000 - 10.8% - over the previous year.

“We will continue to help develop closer links between the business and education sectors to ensure that young people are informed about all of their options, whether that is studying further at university or college, or starting an apprenticeship.”