Help for residents facing redundancy
Help for people facing redundancy or looking for work is being provided by the newly set up St Albans Jobs Forum.
The Forum, a partnership led by St Albans City and District Council, has been created because of an anticipated rise in unemployment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A webpage offering a wide range of advice to people who are out of work has already been launched.
This includes Government guidance for those who have lost their job because of Covid-19 along with links to agencies that help people find employment.
There are details about what financial support is available including Universal Credit, Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit.
Advice for people planning to start a business in this challenging climate is also available.
The Forum has held already met four times since the nationwide lockdown was imposed to prepare a programme of action.
It includes representatives from Job Centre Plus, St Albans Chamber of Commerce, Oaklands College, St Albans BID and St Albans Enterprise Agency.
Serco, a company which delivers essential public services and runs a training programme to help people made redundant, has also joined.
The Forum plans to make the webpage a first port of call for employees and employers in the District who are dealing with redundancy issues.
Other initiatives include plans to enhance online activities and support for people looking for work including a webinar by the Chamber of Commerce.
There will also be help for employers on apprenticeships, training programmes and Government-sponsored employment schemes.
In addition, the Council and BID are working with the Cathedral and landlords to identify space where pop-up markets to support business can be held.
The Forum will be coordinating its efforts with the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), a public sector organisation tasked with driving economic growth.
Councillor Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture, is the Council’s main representative on the Forum. She said:
Few people have any doubt that as the Government’s furlough scheme is eased, there will be a rise in unemployment throughout the country.
“We want to be as well prepared locally as we can be to deal with the effects of that in the District, with the Job Forum leading our response.
Through working in partnership with other organisations, we can direct people faced with redundancy to our webpage so they can obtain the advice that they need.
We’re also looking to make sure people seeking work know where to go to find details about job vacancies or opportunities to learn new skills and train for a new career or to start up a new business.
We have been busy working with partners behind the scenes throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We will be increasing our efforts in the months ahead to help support residents and businesses through this extremely stressful and difficult period to try and stem rising unemployment.
The Forum webpage offering advice to employees and employers is here: https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/unemployment-advice.
Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business,
Tourism and Culture