Good jobs news for York

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York Council welcomes fall in number of residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance and benefits

City of York Council has today welcomed figures from the Office for National Statistics and the Department for Work and Pensions which show a reduction in the number of people claiming both Jobseekers Allowance and benefits in the city.

Today’s figures released by the Office for National Statistics have shown that the number of people claiming Jobseekers allowance has fallen for the eighth consecutive month.

The statistics show there to be 1,318 claimants in York, a decrease of 57 from last month.

The claimant count represents 1.0 per cent of the working population contrasts to the regional average which stands at 2.8 per cent. York has had lower unemployment rates than the rest of the region for over 15 years now

The figures are also much lower than the national average which is currently 2.1 per cent. Today’s figures mean there are 877 less claimants than in October 2013 and that the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance has fallen by 40 per cent in the past year.

York has also seen a fall in the number of 18-24 year olds claiming Jobseekers allowance with today’s figures showing a reduction of 235 over the past year, a fall of 44.3 per cent.

Figures also released today by the Department for Work and Pensions have shown that the number of residents claiming benefits has also fallen. The statistics show the number of claimants in York as of May 2014 is 10,180, a fall of 490 since February.

The claimant count represents 7.6 per cent of the working population in York, which is lower compared to both the regional average (14.4 per cent) and the national average (12.9 per cent).

What’s in a name?

confused1The York Council courted controversy in 2012 when announcing that it was setting up a £28 million Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF)

The controversy centred on the Labour leadership’s decision to add around £20 million to the Council debts by borrowing much of the fund (the rest was to come from the governments “new homes bonus” deal).

Now a report has been published on the Councils “equalities” plan which shows a somewhat cavalier approach to history and consistency.

We are now assured that the £28 million has actually been invested in an “Economic Inclusion Fund (EIF)” !!

The fund is actually being used to pay for projects such as:

  • Refurbishment of Kings Square
  • Acquisition of an “Arts Barge”
  • Tour de France start
  • Newgate market refurbishment
  • New City centre bus stops
  • Holgate Road bridge into the York central site (“bridge to nowhere”)
  • Paving a small section of Fossgate
  • Paving the entrance to Hungate


Very little of this expenditure has contributed to a reduction in “inequalities” in the City.

When the Council comes to discuss the plan, no doubt someone will point out that the Equalities plan is already over 12 months behind scheduled.

Inventing links to existing – borderline reckless – capital expenditure decisions is disingenuous in the extreme.

Castlegate closure to be challenged

Opposition parties on the York Council have called in for reconsideration a plan to close the Castlegate youth advice and help centre.

Castlegate centre

The meeting will take place on 31st October and the reports can be read by clicking here

The Castlegate centre provides information, support and counselling for young people aged between 16-25 in York,

Probably the main issue concerns the proposal to transfer some youth advice services to West Offices.

It is difficult to think of a less suitable location.

The building can be intimidating, reception arrangements busy (see article above) and occasionally chaotic – despite the best endeavours of staff.

It is also noisy because of the atrium design.

The Council may wish to move the service to a more affordable location but West Offices would be a poor choice.

Unemployed numbers down in York

Figures released today (17 September) by the Office for National Statistics have shown the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) has fallen by 42.8 per cent since August 2013.

Today’s figures means the number of claimants in York has fallen for the sixth consecutive month.

The statistics show there to be 1,441 claimants in York, a decrease of 75 from last month.

The claimant count represents 1.1 per cent of the working population contrasts to the regional average which stands at 3 per cent.

The figures are also much lower than the national average which is currently 2.3 per cent.

Today’s figures mean there are 1,010 less claimants than in August 2013.

Unemployment down again in York as coalition policies take effect

Jobs growth in UK

Jobs growth in UK

Unemployment in York fell to 1.1% in June.

This is down from 1.8% 12 months ago.

Unemployment is now less than North Yorkshire (1.2 %) Yorkshire (3.1%) and Great Britain (2.4%).

Although attention will now switch to the quality of jobs in the City – and maybe concerns about labour shortfalls in areas like care services and retail – effectively the City now has full employment.


More apprentices sought in York

City of York Council is making a final call out to creative and cultural businesses who would like to access funding to create Apprenticeships and paid internships.

City of York Council will be applying for the Creative Employment Programme funding in August on behalf on a consortium of creative and cultural organisations in York and the surrounding area.

This is a £15m fund from Arts Council England, which is administered by Creative & Cultural Skills and designed to support the creation of traineeships, Apprenticeships and paid internship opportunities for young people aged 16-24. The programme provides part-wage grants to put towards the costs of a new apprentice or paid intern.

This can cover wage subsidies of between £1500 – £3000 for entry level roles in music, dance, theatre, literature, visual arts, contemporary craft, combined arts, galleries, circus, carnival arts, museums and libraries. This includes all sizes and types of employers, supporting technical and sector specific roles as well as support roles in areas such as marketing, business administration, finance and HR.

The consortium currently consists of 17 employers including libraries, galleries, theatre groups, museums and festivals who are looking to create around 20 internships and Apprenticeships for young people wanting to get into the creative and cultural sector. Any other businesses who would like to be involved should get in contact by Thursday 24 July, however, there may be the option to be part of the consortium at a later date if an interest has been expressed.

Those who wish to find out more can contact Julia Massey on 07769640241 or by email

Huge risk for York as Science City abandoned

Culture, festivals and leisure set to be hived off


The York Council is to take on the liabilities of the Science City organisation and is breaking its partnership with the University of York.

Science City claims to have brought £30million in investment to the City over the last 14 years.

Now the Council is replacing it with a wholly local authority owned company on which it will have only two Board members.

Taxpayers will be expected to pay £710,000 plus set up costs to sustain the new company.

A less than convincing business plan suggests that most of its activities will be similar to those undertaken by the long defunct Inward Investment Board.

Other activities are intended to underpin the (generally successful) Visit York organisation which has been in existence for less than 3 years.

As well as the lack of transparency, taxpayers will worry about the City Centre/visitor bias of an organisation which also aspires to take over “cultural and leisure”activities.

The company owners (York taxpayers) will have little say over the objectives of the new company, its Board appointments or method of working.

It is likely to hold its meetings in private, further reducing local residents influence.

The targets of the new company refer entirely to the City centre. Neither Front Street (badly in need of regeneration) nor any other suburb centre gets even a passing a mention.

Behind closed doors logo

With the Labour administration on its last legs, the best interests of the City would be best served by trying to get a cross party consensus before entering into an arrangement which may only have a life of a few months.

The Council report fails to reveal the terms under which the City would acquire the Universities share of the Science City company.

NB. Last year the Council Leader actually welcomed a bid by Science City to manage all business grant investment decisions for the City.

York Apprenticehips event

Young people across the city will be able to view over 250 Apprenticeship vacancies and receive job advice as City of York Council hosts an Apprenticeship Recruitment Event on Tuesday 1 July.

Elizabethan Medieval Clip Art 137

The event, which will take place from 4.30pm-7.30pm at the Hilton Hotel, will showcase exciting Apprenticeship opportunities from both large and small to medium-sized York employers.

The recruitment event comes after the success of the York Apprenticeship Challenge which saw 104 local businesses pledge to create 162 Apprenticeship vacancies in the city.

Young people aged 16-24 and their parents will have the chance to meet with recruiting employers as well as find out about alternative routes to Level 3 qualifications and university.

20 employers and 10 training providers will be advertising over 250 Apprenticeship vacancies covering a range of sectors including; business and finance, construction, creative and cultural, digital marketing and social media, engineering, I.T, health and more. Employers attending the event include City of York Council, NHS, Barratt Homes, Nestle, Garbutt and Elliott Solicitors, GIA Architects, Purenet, McDonalds, York Cocoa House, Meltons Restaurant and many more.

Connexions advisors will be available at 29 Castlegate alongside the event to support young people with their next-level options, including Apprenticeships, plus CV and Job Application workshops.

For more information on the event contact or visit

Call for Barbican hotel statement

Barbican development site June 2014

Barbican development site June 2014

The next Council meeting is likely to debate why a start on building work, on the derelict site next to the Barbican, has been delayed.

Planning permission for a 165 bedroomed hotel was granted in January 2012 with the aim being to provide facilities which would complement the use of the adjacent Barbican auditorium as a conference centre.

Property firm Broadhall was granted permission to build a Hilton Garden Inn on the land. The development was expected to bring at least 200 additional jobs to the City.

Plans to erect nearly 200 flats on another part of the vacant site were submitted last year

A recent major conference held at the Barbican centre was criticised for lack of “break out” space.

Now the site – which used to accommodate a swimming pool – has been derelict for 2 years with gaps in the hoardings affecting the view from the City Walls and blighting one of he key routes around the City.


Walmgate Bar June 2014

Walmgate Bar June 2014

The Council has also been criticised for not starting a permanent repair on nearby Walmgate Bar.

The Bar was shored up following a collision four years ago.

Two years ago the media reported that a start on refurbishment work was imminent.

With the City having a “showcase” opportunity provided by the Tour de France event next month, many had expected the Council to act on unsightly buildings and sites.