AN annual jobs fair organised by South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has been hailed a success – despite terrible weather.
Mrs Lewell-Buck has made tackling youth unemployment one of her top priorities.
After she was elected as David Miliband’s successor last year she pledged to stage an annual jobs fair at which the region’s top employers could offer borough youngsters a route off the dole queue.
At last year’s inaugural event more than 1,000 jobs were up for grabs at the recruitment drive held in South Tyneside College.
The second event, on Friday at the college site in St George’s Avenue at Westoe, South Shields, was well-attended in the face of some nasty weather.
Morning and afternoon downpours may have impacted somewhat on the numbers attending.
But it didn’t prevent determined jobhunters making their way to the college to take the opportunity to learn about job vacancies and training from businesses such as the Port of Tyne, Siemens and Boldon’s Quality Hotel.
Now Mrs Lewell-Buck is aiming for a hat-trick of jobs fair next year - if elected as town MP at the General Election in May.
She said: “Despite the weather I’m thrilled that the event was a success and well-attended again.
“I’m grateful to all the employers who took part to offer access to vacancies, training opportunities and apprenticeships.
“I’d also thank South Tyneside Council and sponsors the Port of Tyne and the college for hosting the event once again.
“I’m committed to staging the fair next year but I think we may look to hold it a little earlier in the year, perhaps in the first week of September.”
The fair was held at a time when borough youth unemployment is on the rise.
The total number of people aged 18 to 24 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in September was 1,230, compared to 1,165 in August.