On Thursday 23 March, MPs Bill Wiggin and Guy Opperman visited Leominster JobcentrePlus.

Sir Bill and Employment Minister Guy Opperman L discussed with the branch managers topics including the need to increase employer and company engagement with the Jobcentre; better transport to and from Herefordshire’s largest employers; and to encourage employee retainment and training.

Sir Bill Wiggin MP said:

“It was pleasure to welcome Guy to North Herefordshire and to visit the Leominster Jobcentre which is working hard to help with local employment.

“We have a great story to tell here with figures from February 2023 showing that there were 1,130 people who claimed unemployment related benefits in North Herefordshire, equating to 2.2% of the population aged 16-64. 

“This is lower than the average claimant rate for the rest of the UK, which was 3.7%.

“Here there were 175 claimants aged 18-24, equivalent of 3.3% of the population aged 18-24, which is again lower than the national average of 4.7%.

“We know that Herefordshire employers are always looking for good people so the future for young people is bright. 

“As well as these encouraging figures the Chancellor’s Spring Budget contained measures to make it easier for those who want to work.

“There will be wide-ranging support with childcare costs, and for doctors in particular but also for other public sector pension scheme contributors, it was important that we abolished the Lifetime Allowance on pensions.

“These actions will help new mothers return to work and encourage those doctors who might otherwise have retired to continue with their careers.

“I welcome the news that the number of claimants in North Herefordshire has fallen by 170 over the past year and that this puts us in a better position than the national average. 

“I hope that with the support of the Government and JobcentrePlus, we can get more local people into work.”