Securing work during a pandemic

Published: 15 January 2021

Council House exterior

Derby Job centre is currently helping employers to fill more than 621 vacancies.

The employment market nationally has seen a huge impact as a result of COVID-19, but the Derby Job Centre is determined to show people that there are still roles available – showcased by a recent partnership with Derby City Council.

Derby Job centre - whose aim it is to help people of working age find employment - is currently helping employers to fill more than 621 vacancies, including 542 full-time and 79 part-time roles.

It has 173 opportunities within the healthcare and nursing sector, 115 in logistics and warehousing, 56 in teaching, 35 in social work and 29 within manufacturing.

Jobseekers looking for help can search vacancies at Job help – a site set up in response to unemployment during COVID-19, to help link people with skills and experience with jobs in the recruiting sectors.

A recent success story lies with the city’s COVID response. Derby City Council and Derby Job Centre were able to work together to secure jobs within the Council’s COVID-19 contact tracing service – including team leader roles – and the authority’s Community Hub, a service working directly with people affected by COVID.

We spoke to the people involved in the recent recruitment to find out their experience…

Derby Job Centre Employer Adviser Lisa Gill said:

Developing an excellent partnership with Derby City Council has provided us with preferential recruiting rights for local unemployed people. Importantly, this has enabled our Job Centre work coaches to quickly match jobseekers with the right vacancy. Interested candidates have then attended a digital job information session, which has resulted in some being placed into the vacancies, which is great news.

Jane Witherow, Customer Contact Manager at Derby City Council said:

We have worked closely with Derby Job Centre for some time, with the aim to fill customer service posts and this has gone really well. I had no hesitation to contact them again to help us recruit for these posts. We had to use a more digital approach this time whilst also working towards a rather tight deadline to get people into a new role, but it worked really well!

Lauren Mullen was one of the successful applicants for a Contact Tracer role:

I was furloughed for 10 months and never returned back to work due to COVID-19. I found it really hard to get back into a new position.

I applied for Universal Credit and was left feeling very low and anxious until my Job Centre Adviser contacted me about working within Derby City Council as part of a brand-new team for test and trace call handlers.

She put me forward and I was contacted by Derby City Council, I sent my CV and was invited to a virtual Q&A session.

I became excited at the prospect of returning to work and was invited for a virtual interview, I’m pleased to say that I was successful.

The process was simple but effective with a very quick turnaround. The interviewers made me feel very comfortable and at ease. I have completed my training now and I am fulfilling my new job role. I have been made to feel very welcome by the rest of my team and have regained my confidence and sense of purpose. I love my new team and my new job.

Larna Simpkin also joined the Community Hub team. She said: 

I was out of work after being made redundant. My Job Centre work coach was really helpful and told me about the jobs available. I participated in the digital Q&A session which gave me a real insight into the new role and allowed me to make a personal decision on whether the job was right for me.

Interviews were done virtually, and the interviewers made me feel really calm as I was very nervous. The support I have received has been some of the best in a job I have ever had.

Councillor Evonne Williams, Derby City Council Cabinet Member said;

We are proud of our partnership working with Derby Job Centre to support the people of Derby into employment.

It’s a very difficult time for many people who have found themselves unemployed, but this story and many others highlights that opportunities back into employment are available.

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