YORK Central MP Hugh Bayley has visited Jobcentre Plus in Stonebow to find out how it is helping people get into work.

He was told about preparations for a jobs fair, due to take place on May 20 at York Railway Institute in Queen Street, which about 60 York employers are expected to attend.

There will also be information and advice on hand from York Learning, National Careers Service (Babcocks) and Connexions, and about apprenticeships from the National Apprenticeship Service, York College, YH Training and CITB which advises on careers on construction.

The Labour MP was briefed about preparations for the fair by Julia Davis, employer engagement and partnership manager, Elaine Brear, adviser manager, from Jobcentre Plus, York council leader James Alexander and Julia Massey, partnership manager from Learning City York.

Mr Bayley said York had one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the north but there were still people who could not find employment, and that could lead to depression, with some giving up and turning to alcohol or drugs.

“Jobs fairs are an excellent way of helping people into work or to progress their career in a different direction.” he said.

“This fair will provide help on writing CVs and interview techniques. There is also help for people who are interested in starting their own businesses."

Coun Alexander said the authority had been supporting jobs fairs for a few years now and each year they went from strength to strength.

"It is a great event to be involved with and to promote in helping local people gain employment, something I feel strongly about.," he said. "Whilst York is doing relatively well in terms of unemployment, there is always more we can do and jobs fairs are just one further way in which we can help to reduce numbers of people out of work."

The last available statistics showed that 2,230 people - or 1.7 per cent of those eligible - claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in the York area in February, up by 47 since January. But the figure was still sharply down on the 3,112 claimants in February last year.