LEADING figures have thrown their weight behind The Star’s bid to get jobless people in Sheffield back into the world of work.
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett, Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, and employment minister Mark Hoban have backed the We Want to Work campaign, which gives out-of-work men and women the chance to pitch to potential employers.
The Star has joined forces with Sheffield-based A4E, which delivers the government’s work programme, to help some of the 17,136 city residents who currently rely on Jobseekers’ Allowance.
Every week, candidates are profiled in The Star in the hope businesses or employers will recognise their potential.
Mr Hoban said: “I welcome The Star’s campaign and give it my wholehearted support.
“As minister for employment, I meetlots of people who have moved off benefits and found work – and it’s good news unemployment has been falling since last spring.
“In Sheffield the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance – 17,136 – is slightly lower than it was a year ago.
“However, there are still lots of people desperate to find the right job and those figures will be little consolation. Many of those have a great deal to offer employers.
“I’m sure, with The Star’s help and the support from A4E through the work programme, the right opportunity won’t be far away.
“Congratulations to the Star for championing the skills and potential of jobseekers who want to work – we will do everything we can to help them.”
Mr Blunkett said: “this is great idea. If it works it could be scaled up rapidly to match those who want to work with those who need work doing.
“This could fill vacancies, offer training and development to those willing to do so and bring both hope and independence to so many people.
“By creating jobs we also make jobs, as people in employment have money to spend and this then generates further economic activity, which in turn creates work.”
n To see videos of the candidates looking for work, visit www.thestar.co.uk