Essex: Tendring District Council teams up with job centre to boost employment

COUNCIL chiefs have hailed an innovative project to boost employment in north-east Essex.

The initiative - thought to be one of the first of its kind in the country - has seen Tendring District Council (TDC) team up with Jobcentre Plus (JCP) to better match firms and job seekers.

Donna Lehain, who works for JCP, has been seconded to the council to work hand in hand with its regeneration team.

The aim is to help firms identify new jobs, apprenticeships and work placements and then find them the right person for the job.

The council said the six-month secondment, which started in July, has already proved to be a success - 43 firms have been visited by Ms Lehain and 10 job vacancies filled. She has also had 23 expressions of interest in apprenticeships, 23 placements for work experience and interest from three companies who are looking for new business premises for expansion.

Sarah Candy, TDC’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is way above and beyond all our expectations and proving to be extremely worthwhile.

“We knew that businesses would be able and willing to take on new staff if they were given the right support at the right time and Donna’s success so far proves that to be correct.

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“We will continue to work with JCP in the coming months to ensure that we maintain the project for as long as possible and leave a lasting legacy.

“It will prove that by working together we can provide better support for our small businesses – as well as find job seekers suitable employment.”

Ms Lehain is also advising businesses on sources of funding for subsidised recruitment and will help reduce the amount of bureaucracy they might normally encounter.

Stu Bennett, JCP district manager, said he was delighted to have developed the new pilot scheme with TDC.

“We are always looking to improve our relationships with partners and employers,” he said. “We are extremely pleased with the early results of the initiative and look forward to going forward with this exciting new collaboration with the council and other partners.”

Any firms interested in this project can call Ms Lehain on 01255 686377.

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