Local Employment Partnership scheme on track to find work for 750,000 unemployed

The government is on track to place a further 140,000 unemployed people back into work by the end of the year.

The new figure would take the total number of people finding work through the Local Employment Partnership (LEP) scheme to 750,000 since its launch in 2007.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it has already found 610,000 jobless people work through LEPs, whereby Jobcentre Plus works with employers to match the long-term unemployed with available roles.

More than 50,000 employers have now signed up to the scheme.

A DWP spokeswoman told Personnel Today: “Employers have told us that recruiting people through LEPs has helped to take away the cost and hassle of their recruitment by providing them with a tailored service, such as sifting applications, providing training and helping them find the best new people for their business.”

The latest unemployment statistics show that the number of people unemployed for more than 12 months increased by 61,000 in the three months to January to reach 687,000 – the highest figure since the three months to August 1997.

The government initially committed to recruit 250,000 people through LEPs by the end of April 2010, but this target was increased three-fold by the year end as a result of rising unemployment during the recession.

The latest employers to offer LEP opportunities include Surrey County Council and JD Wetherspoon.

McDonald’s has also recruited 300 people through LEPs since February 2009, while Morrisons has taken on 4,000 people through the scheme since January 2009 and plans to take on many thousands more this year.

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