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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue Date:- 29/28 April 2009

Mcnulty: delivering extra support to get people back to work

FROM the start of this month jobseekers can get more help from day 1 of their claim, while the 25% who don't move off benefits within 6 months now have access to greater support to get back into work.  New figures from the UK Statistics Authority show unemployment continuing to rise, though over a quarter of a million people left the claimant count last month.  Tony McNulty said:- "We know that times are tough and these figures are disappointing. However, lots of people are still finding work and while there were 363,500 new claims for JSA last month, over 275,000 people flowed off unemployment benefits - that's an increase of 22,500 from last month.  We will not give up on people and will do everything we can to make sure that if you become unemployed we can help you get back to work as quickly as possible. The extra package of support at both day one and six months of a claim is now available and being used to help people back into work. We have also invested £2bn to ensure Jobcentre Plus can continue to offer all its customers a first class service."  

Jobcentre Plus (JCP) can help employers and employees through its Rapid Response Service, which offers immediate support early on - even before someone becomes redundant. Over 1500 employers have used this support since the service was expanded in November last year (2008).   From day 1 of becoming unemployed people can now take advantage of Local Employment Partnerships, which provide opportunities for people to find work with local employers. Last month each week 3,800 people got back to work through the scheme.   Over 300 recruitment agencies have signed up to help newly unemployed professionals by offering specialist job search support, and we now have 142 national companies working with JCP on take up of the new recruitment subsidy worth £1,000 along with access to training worth up to £1500, which will help unemployed people of 6 months or more into employment.


BRITS holidaying abroad will soon be able to take advantage of a little extra change in their pockets, as new European rules set to cut the price of texting whilst abroad finally come into force on 1 July 2009 – just in time for the summer holidays.

Politicians in the European Parliament have already forced mobile phone companies to lower call prices and now they say texting home from countries in Europe should cost less too.

It now means that people will pay a maximum of around 10p per message - about a third of what it costs now - and texts will be free to receive, making all the difference to tourists who want to stay in touch with home whilst on holiday abroad.

And the changes will also restrict how much phone companies can charge to surf the internet on mobiles, as well as lowering the costs of making and receiving calls abroad even more.

Southport MEP Chris Davies was amazed at the fact that British holidaymakers were being charged around 41p per text, whilst a Latvian tourist would expect to pay just 4p for the same service.

Said Liberal Democrat Chris:- “Mobile phone companies have been charging consumers far more than they should for using their mobile phones in other european countries.

People shouldn't have to pay a fortune just to get the football scores on their mobiles or to text their family from abroad.

This is a good example of EU countries being stronger together in putting an end to phone company rip-offs. This should stop some of the nasty shocks european consumers get when they come home from their holiday and open their phone bill."

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