Jobcentre working on ‘damning’ gap between men and women in jobs

Jobcentre Plus is looking to address the gender employment gap in Great Yarmouth Picture: James Bass

Jobcentre Plus is looking to address the gender employment gap in Great Yarmouth Picture: James Bass - Credit: Evening News © 2009

The Jobcentre is aiming to tackle the employment gap between men and women in Great Yarmouth, which is the widest in East Anglia.

Stephen Lankester, the district operational leader for Norfolk at Jobcentre Plus, said the labour market in the area was generally “buoyant”, however,the gap between men and women in work needed to be narrowed.

He was speaking as the latest jobs figures were released this week.

Mr Lankester said: “The biggest thing I’m working on at the moment is women into work and there is quite a big disparity between women into work and men into work in Yarmouth.

“Based off the last employment figures from December 2017, the overall employment rate for 16 to 64-year-olds is 67.5pc.

“For men, the figures are 76.9pc, which is on par with the national average. But the female rate is 58.1pc, which is the lowest in East Anglia.”

Mr Lankester added: “The figures are quite damning, but it’s something we are going to work on; there’s no other big difference like that in East Anglia so it needs to be addressed. I have set my senior person a bit of a challenge to look into this.

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“We need to see if we can improve the employment rate for women, by getting out to employers, thinking about working patterns, accommodating single parents for example.”

He pointed out: “The employment rate for women in Norwich is 71.5pc - and it’s just down the road.”

As for the jobs market as a whole, Mr Lankester said there was “a lot of work around”, with Bernard Matthews looking to recruit 100 people, Voyage Care looking for 20 people and Haven Holidays in need of 15 more staff members.

He said: “There are lots of different sectors advertising at the moment.

“At our recent jobs fair we had employers such as banks, the NHS, and Morrisons.

Mr Lankester revelaed there are still unfilled jobs in the tourism sector, but most of it is sorted for now in Great Yarmouth and added; “we have seen some really big employment rate rises in the area which is really positive.

“Employers are out there advertising vacancies, our job is to find the transferable skills within individuals and see if somebody used to perhaps the ‘x’ sector could make a move into the ‘y’ sector.”