‘Fantastic’ fall in jobseeker numbers in Boston hailed


The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in Boston has now fallen to less than half the peak reached during the recession.

The borough’s claimant count dropped from 779 to 746 during November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed last Wednesday.

During the recession, the figure climbed as high as 1,518 (in February 2012).

The count is now at its lowest since April 2008 when it stood at 713.

Michelle Simpson, who is the senior operation leader for Jobcentre Plus sites in Lincolnshire, spoke of what is being done to help jobseekers in Boston.

She said: “We’re giving out a lot more practical advice and support rather than just sitting in front of a desk and filling in forms.”

She pointed to new systems and initiatives taking place at the Jobcentre Plus, in Lincoln Lane, including job fairs, more interaction between advisers and customers and group sessions to learn skills such as how to prepare CVs.

Mrs Simpson added: “We’re getting very good feedback from customers.”

The centre has also introduced new computer systems with advisers to support people searching on the internet for jobs and employment.

She said the initiatives were a lot about ‘upskilling’ people to give them a better chance to find employment.

Businesses are also sending representatives into the centre five or six times a week to offer guidance and explain roles available in their companies in an informal environment rather than an interview.

MP for Boston and Skegness Mark Simmonds welcomed the decline in Boston’s claimant count and a similar downwards trend in Skegness.

“This is fantastic news for people in Boston and Skegness,” he said. “This is a clear sign that the Conservative’s long-term economic plan is working, building a stronger, healthier economy.”