News Article

Northern Employment Platform launches in response to COVID-19

27 October 2020

Employment, apprenticeships, and training courses are among the opportunities to be found on a newly launched website, which is specifically designed to support people in the North who have lost their job as a result of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The North has been disproportionally affected by the outbreak, suffering an estimated decline of 20.7% in GVA between 2019 and Q2 2020. The NP11 – a group of all 11 Northern local enterprise partnerships – has partnered with software specialist PDMS, to launch a pilot of their innovative online service called SignedUp Skills to help those affected. The pilot will run until the end of the year 2020, with the aim that if successful, it could develop into a long-term initiative.

The free-to-use platform will make it easier for those across the North, who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, to find new employment and training opportunities in their local area. The website will be a comprehensive resource for accessing real-time vacancies, training courses, and apprenticeships across the region, as well as finding opportunities from throughout the UK.

More than just a traditional online jobs board, the service will provide users with unique insights into their region’s growing industries and identify the skills and training most in demand in their communities. This will include information and signposting towards industries where there is particular demand and important regional sectors.

People from across the North can use the platform to access a wealth of employment and training opportunities immediately. This resource will enable those who have been adversely affected economically by COVID-19 to plan their next career steps in confidence. Careers guidance, information, and advice will also be provided on the website.

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the NP11 and Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, commented:

“With many of our communities throughout the North now under Tier 2 or Tier 3 government restrictions, many people and businesses find themselves facing an uncertain economic future.

“Now more than ever, to achieve a confident North with the skills it needs to thrive, we must work across sectors to build a culture of  progression and development in our business that helps both companies and individuals flourish.

“The North will be integral to the future economic recovery and prosperity of the nation. However, our region’s recovery can only be as strong as the economic strength and security of the people living here. To deliver extraordinary economic and social transformation, we must not only invest in the technology and the skills for today, but also for the future.

“Working together with LEPs, combined authorities, Mayors and civic leaders to address the skills gap, our ambition is to create a careers platform for the whole of the North, which will guide people through these difficult times and help connect them with prospective job opportunities.”

Chris Gledhill, Managing Director of PDMS, commented:

“Throughout the pandemic, technology has allowed us to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues. As we enter a new phase of this crisis, we can draw upon our software expertise to now connect people with new employment and training opportunities.

We’re delighted to be partnering with the NP11 in this pilot project which creates a platform to transform the lives of its users for the future and establishes a new starting point for labour market interventions.”

Clare Hayward, chair of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, commented:

“There is no doubt that the pandemic continues to have a significant effect on businesses across Cheshire and Warrington and is consequently impacting the number of job opportunities across our region, and we need to make sure that we are tapping into local talent and offering people the chance to develop their skills, or retrain to help us to build back better.

“We’re therefore thrilled to be part of this new skills platform. SignedUp will signpost people to job and training opportunities and enable them to see which industries are growing and need fresh talent on board.”

The SignedUp Skills service for Cheshireand Warrington can be found here:

Cheshire & Warrington Opportunities

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