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Unemployment figures rise in Moray as national trend heads upwards

By Alan Beresford

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MORAY has followed the national trend in seeing the number of people claiming Universal Credit (UC) rise.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP. Picture: mimsdavies.org.uk
Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP. Picture: mimsdavies.org.uk

The latest figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) show that in December there were 6878 UC claimants in the region, a rise of over 100 from November's total of 6754.

Across Scotland, the figures show a rise in excess of 7000 from 472,188 to 479,042 over the same time period.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: "These figures show many people are still facing difficult times, but our support is helping keep millions of workers on payrolls across the country.

"Whilst there is light at the end of the tunnel with jabs already in the arms of millions and the vaccine rollout gathering pace, our Plan for Jobs is helping to protect and support livelihoods, as well as create new opportunities for those who need them.

"The number of vacancies has risen for six consecutive months, our Kickstart Scheme for young people has already created more than 120,000 job placements and we have provided over £280 billion to protect incomes and livelihoods as we battle the pandemic."

Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince said: "Universal Credit is providing a vital safety net for millions, rightly supporting people during their time of need in the wake of the pandemic.

"We continue to support low-paid families throughout this unprecedented period.

"Our Covid Winter Grant Scheme is helping to keep disadvantaged children warm and well-fed through the coldest months, and our Plan for Jobs, including the Kickstart and Job Entry Targeted Support schemes, is a crucial part of our plan to build back better."

The Job Help and Employer Help portals continue to be updated and carry lots of supportive information. These websites are to support jobseekers find work in new sectors and generally looking for work now.

The Job Help website also has articles, tips and guides to help people who are able and willing to take up roles now in sectors which are expanding rapidly to keep Britain working.

It is continually updated with local content, so make sure to check this regularly.

Other useful sited are Find a Job and, for firms looking for staff, Employer Help.

Local vacancies are available also via Twitter – @jcpinNorthScot – and there are currently 70 vacancies available on Find A Job for Moray offering roles in a variety of sectors.

For information about the changes the government has brought in to support people who are already claiming benefits, need to claim benefits, or are at risk of losing their job as a result of coronavirus, see the new Employment and benefits support site.

To find out more about any aspect of Universal Credit, including how to make a claim, visit Understanding Universal Credit.

There is also a lot of guidance online on the schemes available for those on furlough and the self-employed support.

Workers or businesses affected by Covid lockdowns can go to https://www.gov.uk/government/news/job-support-scheme-expanded-to-firms-required-to-close-due-to-covid-restrictions

More information about the CJRS furlough scheme can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

The self-employed SEISS scheme is explained at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support and on the website: www.gov.uk/hmrc

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