York economy performing well but….

St Nicholas market popular this year

The start of “Business Week” in the City coincides with the publication of a progress report by “Make it York” (MIY). This is the QUANGO charged with developing the York economy and particularly the visitor sector and markets.

Reading the report, one might think that all was rosy in the garden.

There has been a steady stream of tourists visiting the City this year. They have partly been attracted by a series of festivals while other initiatives like the food court on the market have attracted favourable publicity.

The complementary York BID scheme has produced tangible improvements to the streetscape coupled with imaginative lighting schemes.

However, part of the success in attracting foreign visitors is down to the low value of the pound.

The MIY report is singularly short of figures.

One look around the City centre, at this the busiest shopping period of the year, reveals that key shop units are still empty several years after they become vacant. The pile of empty shipping containers on Parliament Street doesn’t help while the surface of the City’s most popular car park (Castle) is in an appalling condition. Advanced car parking space availability signs – and their “on line” counterparts – haven’t worked for over 4 years.

This all adds to a depressed feel in the “high street”.

The report – to be considered by a Council scrutiny committee on 28th November – considers progress against a limited number of targets. Some issues, like the shortage of labour and key skills, aren’t mentioned.

Nor is any attempt made to assess the impact that BREXIT will have on the City economy over the next five years or more.

We hope that Councillors, faced with a bland report, will ask questions which root out any complacency.

York Apprenticeship Graduation and Awards Ceremony: a celebration of business talent in the city

Over 100 apprentices from across York will be graduating at the seventh York Apprenticeship Graduation and Awards Ceremony next week (8 November).

The event will celebrate the achievements of young people and adults who have successfully completed their apprenticeship qualification and training. They will all receive a certificate presented by The York Guilds.

A total of 35 young people, adults and employers are also in the running for the 2017 York Apprenticeship Awards, which will be presented on the same night at the Grand Opera House.

Co-ordinated by City of York Council’s Skills Team, the awards were first introduced three years ago to recognise the individual and business benefits and excellence in the city’s apprenticeship landscape.

A panel of independent judges have whittled down the shortlist for five categories:

  • Apprentice of the Year Under 25 (smaller business).
  • Apprentice of the Year Under 25 (Larger Employer).
  • Apprentice of the Year Over 25.
  • Smaller Employer of the Year and Larger Employer of the Year.Julia Massey, City of York Council Skills Team, said: “The nominations show the richness and diversity of apprenticeship talent in York. They highlight how apprenticeship training is supporting the career development of both new recruits and existing staff as well as the growth of York businesses, both large and small.”

    Finalists for Employer of the Year are Acorn Finance, Fera Science Ltd, Garbutt & Elliott LLP, Gear 4 Music, Prospect Health and The Smiles Room (Dentist Practice).

    Finalists for the Over 25s category include staff working in agriculture business management and the health and care sector.

    Finalists in the Under 25s category include new recruits working in accountancy, electrical engineering, chef-ing, digital marketing, science laboratories, front of house, business admin, stone masonry, IT software and dental nursing.

Employers lining up to recruit at Acomb Jobs Fair

Acomb Jobs Fair has around 25 local employers, employment agencies and training providers lined up for the event which is open to all on 15 November 2017 at the Parish Church Hall.

City of York Council, through its 4CommunityGrowthYork project, is delivering the fair together with Job Centre Plus. Besides recruitment opportunities on offer, there will be help with job searches, further training and support into employment.

On Wednesday 15 November from 10am-2pm at the Parish Church Hall on Front Street, Acomb, York YO24 3DW, employers including Tesco, Lindum Group, Park Inn by Radisson, Gear4Music, HM Prisons and the Probation Service as well as City of York Council will be looking to recruit for live job vacancies.

In addition, job agencies including Bright Beginnings Childcare Agency, Job Centre Plus and WorkWithYork will be looking for people to fill current and future vacancies.

Employment support will also be on offer by York Learning, thanks to support from 4CommunityGrowthYork. Staff will be on hand to help people looking for work to brush up their CV-writing and job application skills, as well as helping people find the right sort of training to set them on the career path they want.

Councillor Keith Orrell, interim executive member for economic development and community engagement, said: “Our job fairs are very successful for workers and employers alike. I’m delighted that the council’s York Learning organisation is being supported to attend by 4CommunityGrowthYork to build on our ongoing work to help York residents secure jobs and the training opportunities they want.

“I’d encourage anyone interested to visit and see the opportunities at what promises to be a really worthwhile event.”

Find out more at http://yorklearning.org.uk/yorkjobsfair/

Nominate an apprentice: 6th October deadline

Now in its seventh year, this high profile city-wide event is seeking nominations for outstanding apprentices and employers of apprentices by 6 October, for the Awards Ceremony in November.

Led by City of York Council in partnership with The Guilds of York and training providers, the Annual York Graduation and Awards Ceremony has been a growing success.

Over the last year around 1700 York employees have benefited from apprenticeship training as businesses have created jobs and taken on new apprentice recruits or supported the professional development of their existing staff.

This year’s ceremony at the Grand Opera House on 8 November will showcase the individual and business benefits of apprenticeship training and celebrate the achievements of the city’s outstanding apprentices and businesses employing apprentices.

There are five categories for the awards: Apprentice of the Year aged 16-24 (smaller business); Apprentice of the Year aged 16-24 (Larger Employer), Apprentice of the Year aged 25 or over, Smaller Employer of the Year and Larger Employer of the Year.

Last year’s apprentice winners were Shane Fenton (Ambulance Care Assistant for Yormed), Louis Watson (Developer at PureNet/PureClarity) and joint winners, in the 25 and overs category, Nicky Smith (Facilities Assistant at Joseph Rowntree Foundation) and Nicola Eastwood (Senior Carer at The Lodge, Roseville Holdings ltd). Employer winners were York Millennium Windows and Nestlé .

Cllr Keith Orrell, Executive Member for Economic Development and Community Engagement, said: “We are constantly striving to boost apprenticeship training in York to benefit the development of both new recruits and existing members of staff in local businesses and organisations. The amazing achievements and career progression of those nominated and graduating reveals how much talent there is in our wonderful city.”

This high profile annual graduation and awards ceremony highlights the talent and skills York has to support the growth of local business.

Those who have completed an apprenticeship qualification in York or with a York employer or training provider between November 1 2016 and October 31 2017, are eligible to graduate this year.

*To register to graduate, nominate your apprentice or employer for an award or for more information, email york.apprenticeships@york.gov.uk, call 01904 553732 or fill in our online form at www.york.gov.uk/apprenticeshipevents.

Police seek 20 recruits for control room

 

North Yorkshire Police is hosting a webchat for anyone interested in joining their Force Control Room.

The force is currently recruiting 20 new members of staff to work in this vital, front-line department.

Force Control Room staff are at the heart of policing in North Yorkshire, answering all emergency and non-emergency calls that come into North Yorkshire Police. One minute you could be taking a report of a stolen vehicle, the next, you could be dealing with a tragedy such as a sudden death or serious car crash. You will also ensure that our people and resources are sent to the right place at the right time.

To ask any questions about the roles available, prospective applicants can log on to northyorkshire.police.uk/webchabetween 6pm and 7pm on Wednesday 6 September 2017.

To find out more about the role, watch this video and visit northyorkshire.police.uk/fcr

Recruitment closes on 17 September 2017.

Apprenticeship and training event in York on Thursday

City of York Council will be hosting the York Apprenticeship & Training event at West Offices on Thursday 31 August, 4-7pm.

This event will show young people what their options are for their next steps following the recent publication of A-Level and GCSE exam results.

Hundreds of apprenticeship vacancies throughout York will be on offer along with training and employment opportunities in business, finance, marketing, hospitality, engineering, construction, childcare and many other areas.

Employers confirmed include Nestlé, NFU Mutual, City of York Council, Network Rail, Gear 4 Music, Persimmon Homes and the Royal Air Force. There will also be a special spotlight on careers in the hospitality sector, with The Principal Hotel doing mocktail demonstrations, Marriott York making and serving canapés and Betty’s, Park Inn and Hilton Hotel available to talk to.

Councillor Keith Aspden, deputy leader of the council and responsible for economic development and York Skills Plan said, “This ever-popular event offers the chance for young people and their parents to meet recruiting employers, and gain support and advice on apprenticeship vacancies as they look to start their career.

“Young people are increasingly recognising that an apprenticeship has a great deal to offer in helping to build a successful career and can be of great benefit to businesses as well.

“We are happy to support young people and businesses with such events and as a council we are committed to helping businesses to create apprenticeship jobs and take on young talent to support their business grow.

I hope many young people take the opportunity to visit.”

More than 500 young people attended the York Apprenticeship Recruitment event in March.

As well as employers, young people will also be able to talk with apprenticeship training providers, current apprentices, local universities and support services offering 1 to 1 careers information, advice and guidance. Anyone attending is encouraged to bring a copy of their CV to distribute to potential employers.

The event takes place between 4pm and 7pm and is open to people aged between 16 and 24, along with their parents.

For more information on the event, contact the City of York Council-led York Apprenticeship Hub by emailing york.apprenticeships@york.gov.uk, phoning 01904 553732 or searching for the York Apprenticeships page on Facebook.

Help with Universal Credit for York residents offered by York Council

 

Ahead of Universal Credit rolling out for even more residents in York from 12 July, the council says it will support residents who need digital assistance and budgeting support with Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is a new benefit, handled by the Department for Work and Pensions, which helps people on a low income or not in work, meet their living costs. It combines six benefits, including housing benefit and working tax credit, into a single monthly payment.

Currently Universal Credit is only available to single jobseekers in York but from 12th July parents and couples, including people who can’t work because of their health, living in the city and making a new claim will also receive it.

Universal Credit is one of the biggest ever changes to the benefit system and this may cause people to be worried about what will happen to their benefits. People who need assisted digital support or personal budget support should contact the council’s benefits service on 551556 or to visit www.york.gov.uk.”

There are several changes to previous benefits with Universal Credit, including:

  • ·        payments are made in arrears once at the end of the month, rather than being paid every week.
  • ·        payments will go straight into a claimant’s bank account. This means people may need to set up their own direct debits for expenses like rent if it was paid directly to their landlord under the old Housing Benefit system.

Residents who want to claim Universal Credit who are unable to use the internet or don’t understand how to make the claim can contact the council on 01904 551556 to ask for help through Assisted Digital Support (ADS).

People who would like to claim Universal Credit but are having trouble opening a bank account or managing their money can contact the council on 01904 552044 to ask for help through Personal Budgeting and Support (PBS). PBS can help with budgeting and advice on finding a bank account as Universal Credit cannot be paid into a Post Office card account.

The council has also teamed up with South Yorkshire Credit Union Ltd to give tailored advice which could include consolidating any repayments into a single, more manageable account at a lower, fixed interest rate, rather than resort to unregulated lenders or loan sharks.

Private or council tenants or mortgage holders are welcome to take advantage of the scheme which aims to help people budget and manage any debts.

For more information about the rollout of Universal Credit in York visit www.york.gov.uk