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Redbridge Jobs Fair sees huge turnout as unemployed look for work

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 September 2014

Cllr Helen Coomb at Redbridge Jobs Fair at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford

Cllr Helen Coomb at Redbridge Jobs Fair at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford

Archant

More than 2,000 job-hunters queued to get into the annual jobs fair at Redbridge Town Hall, in the hope of finding work.

Cllr Helen Coomb speaking to reporter Harry Kemble at Redbridge Jobs Fair at Redbridge Town Hall in IlfordCllr Helen Coomb speaking to reporter Harry Kemble at Redbridge Jobs Fair at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford

Around 20 companies on Thursday were represented at the Work Redbridge event, offering both further education and employment opportunities, from social care, to catering and retail.

Debbie Green, an area support manager at ISS, a company which provides meals for 54 schools across the borough, said many people who had approached her stall enquiring about employment were over qualified for the roles.

“We are seeing a lot of qualified people saying they want to work in a school kitchen,” said Mrs Green. “They are professional people, but they do not have a lot of choice.”

She said around 70 people had expressed an interest in working for ISS.

PC Melissa Hepburn and PC Harklert Jaiya at Redbridge Jobs Fair at Redbridge Town Hall in IlfordPC Melissa Hepburn and PC Harklert Jaiya at Redbridge Jobs Fair at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford

PC Melissa Hepburn, of Redbridge Police, also attended the fair last week.

“We’ve had a lot of people coming to speak to us about joining the force – but it has been a good opportunity to engage with the public too,” she said.

Cllr Helen Coomb, the new cabinet member for planning and regeneration, admitted there was “a really good buzz” at the event.

This week, it had been reported national unemployment had fallen to its lowest level since the economic crash in 2008.

To the end of July, those out of work fell by 146,000 to 2.2 million, but Cllr Coomb said her main aim was to continue getting people back into work.

She said: “I’m aware of the unemployment situation, but it’s about getting people back into work that is the important thing.

“I think the biggest fears for people are they will not get back into work, they will have to move house and downsize.”

A business support stall was also on hand to gauge public interest about setting up a temporary stand for four weeks next month, providing help and advice for start-up businesses.

Jane Leighton, arts development officer at Redbridge Vision, will help run the initiative at Ilford Exchange Centre, High Road, Ilford, from October 2.

She said: “This is the first time we have come out with something like this - it is about people who are wanting to set up their own business.

“There has been a lot of interest. People need to come in and see us face to face because we need to find out what people need.”


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