Selly Oak constituency now in top 10% for unemployment in the UK

Unemployment figures released Wednesday show that the Selly Oak constituency is now in the top 10% for unemployment in the UK.

The figures show that unemployment among those eligible to work in Selly Oak constituency is up to 4.5% compared to 2.4% nationally.

The data shows the number claimants is up on both last month and this time last year.

The news comes less than a month after the DWP announced reform plans for jobcentres and benefit offices in light of 20% of office space being underused. The reform is expected to save £180m a year for the next 10 years, with both Selly Oak and Kings Heath jobcentres being retained.

Commenting on the figures, local MP Steve McCabe said: “It is really worrying that unemployment continues to rise in my constituency and is still way above the national average. The latest figures show unemployment in Selly Oak is up to 4.5% which puts this constituency in the top 10% for unemployment across the country.”

“The government keeps telling us how well they are doing and Theresa May claims her concern is for those who are struggling to get by but things in Selly Oak have actually got worse since she became Prime Minister. It’s clear that not enough is being done to invest in jobs and skills in Birmingham and especially in certain parts of my constituency which continues to be left behind.”

“We need an active programme of investment in skills, targeted support for businesses and real help for people in Selly Oak constituency to find decent paid, quality jobs.”

Although unemployment figures are rising in the constituency, B14 News fears the figures would be much worse in the area without training projects such as Train-to-Gain run at the Brandwood Centre in Kings Heath and Fircroft college in Selly Oak.

In the last 12 months alone Fircroft college has seen over 657 students take part on their courses accounting to 1,900 enrolments. With the Train-to-Gain project seeing over 800 people benefiting from free accredited training in the first 4 years of the project.

Speaking to B14 News back in the summer, Train-to-Gain Project Development Officer Angie Field said: “Aside from the free accredited training we provide, we also run workshops, drop-in sessions, ICT support and provide work experience opportunities”

“This means that there is something for everyone at whatever stage they are at on their back-to-work journey.”

With the reform plans announced and the ball rolling we can only hope we see more people in employment in the constituency, but with the fears of Brexit and companies tightening their belts is this the start of something much worse? Well only time will tell.

For more information on the Train-to-Gain project visit
www.brandwoodcentre.co.uk/information-on-training

And for more information on Fircroft College visit www.fircroft.ac.uk