MP Debbie hits at Government recruitment sites
Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 26 November 2015
MP Debbie Abrahams
AN MP has slammed a Government scheme aimed to help hard-pressed employers to recruit staff and apprentices.
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, was responding to a Chronicle story which highlighted the plight of a village baker.
Graham Scholes, whose family own JW Buckley’s bakery in Uppermill, has been battling to find suitable candidates to fill vacancies at his bustling business.
But the despite the upsurge in interest in baking in the wake of the TV’s “Great British Bake Off”, his recruiting mission is being thwarted because, despite exhaustive Government jobs site searches, the father-of-two is still unable to find people who want to join his team.
“Now the old Job Centres have gone I can’t find bakers anywhere,” he said. “I use the Government website all the time to try to recruit staff. The site opens up the opportunity to find suitable applicants across the whole of the UK and beyond.”
On hearing of his problems, Mrs Abrahams, said: “This just goes to show how poor the current Government schemes are for helping employers to recruit staff or apprentices.
“Jobcentre Plus and work programme providers are meant to be engaging with employers to help them fill their vacancies at the same time as helping JSA claimants get into work.
“The Scholes’ business experience shows the online Universal Job Match facility is clearly not fit for purpose.
“Similarly the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) are meant to be helping with apprenticeships.
“But their own employer-designed apprenticeship scheme, Trailblazer, was reported in the summer to have only achieved around 300 starts.
“Instead of ensuring we can compete with our main competitors in Europe, and deliver opportunities for all young people, the Tories have downgraded apprenticeships,” she claimed.
“They have created low-quality courses that all too often last for short durations, provide no training at all to apprentices, and would not even be recognised as apprenticeships abroad.
“The number of young people starting apprenticeships is falling, and most new apprenticeships are going to people aged over 25 who are already in work.
“The process needs to be quick and easy for employers but obviously isn’t working.”