Local job numbers continue to improve

Elaine Brown at the Dalkeith job centre has revealed the latest local figures.
Elaine Brown at the Dalkeith job centre has revealed the latest local figures.

The number of Jobseekers claimants in Midlothian has fallen again in the past year, with an impressive drop of 53 per cent since 2010.

The latest figures released last week showed that Midlothian currently has 885 Jobseekers claimants, down 75 (eight per cent) on last year.

There are currently 41,000 Midlothian people in employment (73.3 per cent). This is slightly lower than the UK national averages of 73.7 per cent, but above the figure for Scotland of 72.9 per cent.

Elaine Brown of Dalkeith Job Centre is delighted with the continued downward trend for local job claimants.

She said: “Although the percentage of eight per cent in the past year maybe doesn’t seem a lot – if you take the last six years that’s a remarkable fall of more than half.

“In the Midlothian market construction is up. Where before it was maybe a few days or so of work, it’s now months or more that people are getting contracts for. For example, workers at the new Paradykes Primary will be there for 13 months, which is quite a lot more time than usual.

“Also, there is the new Next store at Straiton. They recruited 110 staff so there is definitely an up in the area, and let’s hope it keeps going.

“It’s very encouraging.”

Another major plus point in the Midlothian job figures is the number of youngsters now getting into work.

“We’ve had great numbers for the 18-24 age group,” added Elaine.

“The total claimant count is now 230, down 40 from last year. That equates to 15 per cent. From 2010 it is down 62 per cent. So that is definitely a big deal.

“These figures can only encourage the youngsters. There are so many things we can do to help them get into sustained employment.

“We encourage them to do work experience placements – when employers look at CVs, if they see no work experience they think ‘what has this youngster been doing since leaving school?’

“But if they have work experience the employer will know that they are keen and want to be involved in a work environment. And that could help them get the job.

“Sometimes work experience will lead to a job anyway. It all helps to take them into positive destinations.

“We are trying to encourage more people into the job centre to get people back into work. There is a good buzz about the place just now.

“The work coaches (formerly personal advisors) are working really hard to move people into positive destinations. They can help them overcome any barriers.”