Almost five people are competing for each job vacancy in Lincoln, as the national unemployment average rises to a 17-year-high of 8.4%.
There are 4.8 people claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) per Jobcentre vacancy in the city, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
In total, 3,058 people were claiming jobseeker’s allowance and they were competing for 633 vacancies listed by Jobcentre.
Lincoln fared worse than the East Midlands and the UK average with 5% of its working population claiming, compared to 3.7% in the East Midlands and 3.9% across the UK.
Men are struggling much more than women in the city, with 2,196, 7.3% of the male working population on JSA, against 862 women, 2.8% of the female working population.
Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, Rick Metcalfe, said: “Lincoln, along with every other UK city is feeling the pinch, but with one of our priorities being to reduce poverty and disadvantage in the city, we’re trying to ease that financial pressure in a number of ways.
“This includes working with the Credit Union with an access point at our Belmont Street Neighbourhood Office, and taking a number of our services into the community with a pilot in Abbey and Birchwood, meaning people don’t have to make that journey in to the centre of town to get advice and access to services.”
Jobseeker’s allowance is payable to people under pensionable age who are available for, and actively seeking, work of at least 40 hours a week.
Tackling youth employment
More than a third (34%) of people claiming JSA were between the 18-24 age bracket but this situation is being addressed by local organisations.
Prospects are improving for youth employment, with a £1.8 million injection from the European Social Fund, specifically targeted to move 19-24 year-olds in the area onto apprenticeships.
ISIS Training, owned by Lincoln College, head up the program for unemployment in Lincoln and across the county, developing their Entice scheme to reduce youth unemployment.
Head of ISIS Training, Carol Smith, explained how people leave education with a lack of experience and the problem stems back to 16-year-old school leavers.
Smith said: “People come out of school with no direction but we now have our Entice scheme made up of one outward bound day, consisting of rock climbing, kayaking and snowboarding, and two vocational and English and Maths days per week.
The scheme comes with qualification linked work experience opportunities, where retail work experience can lead to a level one customer training qualification.