‘Matchmaking’ Employment Hub extends support for West Yorkshire Employers and Jobseekers facing Uncertain Futures

West Yorkshire Leaders highlight that the devastating impact on the jobs market needs immediate action to plan for recovery.

9 April 2020

Almost 2000 (1,944)[1] businesses were dissolved in the Leeds City Region alone in March: a sobering 62% up from last year’s figures from the same month.  The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the LEP today announced one of a growing list of proactive measures to help the region’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan by turning their focus to the thousands of jobseekers flooding the region’s market.   

With data being updated almost daily on the pandemic’s economic impact, this week, the ONS Covid-19 Survey revealed their first analysis of the current situation, showing a sobering 27% of businesses have reduced staff since lockdown. In response to this, the Employment Hub is extending it's support wider than the existing programme to help those in need of extra support due to Covid-19. The programme will highlight where new opportunities are being created as the business world changes at pace. 

The Employment Hub is designed to help those seeking roles, and the employers who are swiftly adapting to new demands and needs for resource. It does so in the following ways:

  • Matchmaking: referring suitable candidates for new roles and ensuring available workforces are signposted to new job opportunities in the hub database
  • Redundancy Support: Businesses looking to make redundancies (particularly those with less than 20 redundancies who don’t qualify for DWP redundancy support) can refer staff to the Employment Hubs for job search support
  • Accessibility and Inclusive Recruitment: As part of the current European Social Fund supported programmes, the scheme provides ongoing support to those furthest from the labour market to prepare them for employment opportunities post Covid-19
  • For those seeking employment now, signposting to business advertising vacancies or match and signpost individuals to new job opportunities notified to us directly

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said:

“In such a short time, Covid-19 has had a fast, but destructive, impact on the futures of businesses and their employees, creating an incredibly anxious time for individuals and an uncertain economic outlook for our region: but there are also new opportunities and gaps in the resourcing our workforce needs now to get through the crisis and plan for recovery. 

"This extraordinary situation is difficult for everyone, so the Employment Hub (which we already operate successfully with all five West Yorkshire Local Authorities) has been adapted to cope with this new situation. The hub will fulfil a need for the thousands of West Yorkshire jobseekers to successfully access great opportunities, and should be a destination for the region’s employers who need to find good people who, through no fault of their own, are now available on the market.”

[1] Source FAME 2020