YORK is bucking the national trend with a fall in the number of people claiming government support in the city.

The latest figures, based on local authority data for October 8, show that 12,830 people in York were claiming Universal Credit, down from 12,841 in September.

In Selby, the figure was 5,419, compared with 5,390. In Ryedale, that stood at 3,636, up from 3,623 in September, and in Harrogate it was 10,256, up from 10,155.

Jenny Shaw, of Job Centre Plus Monkgate, York, said York’s figure could be credited to people still being on furlough as well as the support available to help people find work.

As well as the new employment programme, JETS (Job Entry Targeted Support), which is supporting people left jobless due to Covid-19, the Government’s Kickstart Scheme has been welcoming applications from businesses to help local young people whose livelihoods are threatened by Covid-19.

York-based LNER is among the businesses to support the Kickstart Scheme. The rail company employs more than 3,000 people across its business and route and has strong links to the communities it serves.

A spokeswoman said: “2020 has been an extraordinary year and we have worked hard to support our people through the challenges that coronavirus and the associated restrictions have presented.

“We have provided ways for our people to stay connected with their colleagues, through a vast array of learning and wellbeing activities.

“In addition, we created the LNER Reserves to enable and support LNER staff in volunteering to help the NHS, emergency services, charities and other organisations in our communities.”

She said the Kickstart scheme helped LNER to provide opportunities for young people to gain meaningful work experience in varied roles.

“Over a period of six months participants will be working in one of our support functions: finance, information technology, human resources, engineering safety and operations and communications.

“We have received an enthusiastic response from our line managers who have already started to plan for activities and opportunities in their areas of the business. In addition to this practical work experience, we are creating a bespoke employability programme to provide participants with support to develop essential workplace skills that will benefit them throughout their career and specifically aims towards them developing the confidence required to land that first great role.

“We understand that young people have been disproportionately impacted by the consequences of coronavirus and are delighted to be able to participate in this fantastic scheme.”

Unemployment in the UK reached 4.8 per cent in the three months to September, according to the Office for National Statistics. There were 1.62 million people unemployed, with about 33,000 people cut from payrolls last month, adding to the 782,000 reduction in payrolls since March this year, when the pandemic struck.