East Lindsey has the highest number of Universal Credit (UC) claimants in Lincolnshire, over 13,000, and has been put down to the coronavirus pandemic affecting the holiday industry in the district’s costal areas.
However, there has only been a 0.6% increase in overall UC claims in Lincolnshire since the end of March, with 65,660 people claiming in the county and decreased numbers in North and South Kesteven as COVID lockdown restricts eased.
Universal Credit covers six major benefits and the figures cover those both in and out of work, including self-employed and those who have been furloughed.
Stuart Roberts, employment advisor at Boston Job Centre said: “Obviously, the current pandemic has affected the holiday industry, which is why we’re putting a lot of extra support and extra opportunities into all our local areas, particularly East Lindsey.”
Despite East Lindsey having the highest number of claimants, it has seen the smallest increase (0.7%), along with South Holland, with Boston seeing the largest rise of 3% since the end of March.
However, it is important to remember East Lindsey is one of the largest districts in Lincolnshire with a larger population than most.
Here’s a breakdown by district on the latest numbers of UC claimants and the percentage increase since the end of March:
- Lincoln – 11,104 (+0.9%)
- Boston – 7,993 (+3%)
- South Kesteven – 11,056 (-1.2%)
- South Holland – 8,037 (+0.7%)
- North Kesteven – 6,797 (-1.3%)
- East Lindsey – 13,685 (+0.7%)
- West Lindsey – 6,988 (+1.7%)
Mr Roberts added: “There’s been a small decrease in young people out of work, that’s some good news there because I think they’ve been the ones that have been hardest hit with regards to the pandemic and lack of opportunities for them.”
In Lincoln, Boston, North Kesteven, South Kesteven and West Lindsey, there has also been a decrease in young people claiming UC too, with more opportunities for them across the county.
In Gainsborough, charity organisation Eudaimonia have engaged with the local Job Centre and have taken 30 young people on in the Kickstart scheme to give them six months placements, providing employability skills and training to develop.
Stuart Roberts said: “We’ve got training programmes for security, we’ve got a training programme for McDonald’s and they support all the local employers with recruiting for example, they’ve held some support events with Butlins and they continue to work alongside employers.”
He added: “Across Lincolnshire as a whole, we are actually going to be doing a LGV (large goods vehicle) training programme to help with the logistics industry.”
The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) are hosting the next virtual job fair on May 26 between 10am and 1pm.
People who need employment help can also visit jobhelp.dwp.gov.uk.