This morning the ONS released its monthly unemployment figures. Here in Amber Valley, unemployment has fallen to 3% – down from 3.2% last month and 4.3% at the time of the general election in 2010, when I promised to reduce unemployment in my constituency.
The figures are particularly encouraging because this data is for the period in which I held the first Amber Valley Jobs Fair on Friday 6th September.
I know from the feedback that I’ve had from local businesses that the fair was a success. Just a few examples include fourteen new members of staff at the Co-Operative Group, three at GI Group in Ripley, three at the Derbyshire Hotel, seven at Vaillant, and dozens at Thorntons.
I’ve heard of many success stories from the event, including one constituent who had been out of work for fourteen years with the exception of one month’s placement. He is one of dozens of the new Thorntons recruits.
One particular success story is that of Nikki Dunbar. I first heard about Nikki in the Ripley & Heanor News, in which I read of her struggle in getting a job despite being a talented graduate with a first-class degree in Events Management. I took her on to help me organise the Jobs Fair so that she could gain that extra vital bit of experience that she needed to help launch her career. As a result of her work, she was one of a few new starters at HL Plastics at Denby, and now works as their Graphic Design and Marketing Co-Ordinator.
I intend to hold a repeat of the event next year, and look forward to building on this great success.