Job Centre staff in Northampton are looking to fill 500 factory jobs this Christmas - and hundreds more could be on the way when a sandwich maker expands in the town.
Senior operations leader for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)in Northamptonshire, Mette Soerensen, said a number of warehouses are hoping to take on seasonal picker/packers, loaders and driving staff through the Job Centre this festive season.
Though many of the roles will be on a short-term contract, Mrs Soerensen said the positions can act as a springboard for people who have been out of work.
“When people are in work it is much easier to find them different work as well,” she said.
“A lot of the work we do is helping people already in a job to get them something better.”
But Mrs Soerensen also revealed that sandwich makers Greencore are looking to expand their operation in Northampton in January and employ staff through the Job Centre.
The firm currently has a warehouse at Moulton and employs more than 1,000 people.
But it came under fire in 2014 when the company looked to fill 300 new positions by recruiting from Hungary.
Pub firm Greene King is also hoping to take on around 90 staff in Northampton through a Job Centre scheme, Mrs Sorenson said, when the firm establishes a new venue at the former British Timken site in Duston.
The latest job figures for October published by the DWP show the number of people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance and Universal Credit across Northamptonshire has fallen slightly by 0.6 per cent, compared with October last year.
But while the number of long term unemployed has fallen in Northampton, there are now 12 per cent - 55 - more young adults claiming either of the benefits than there were in October 2015.