‘900 jobless’ in Oban, says report

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Nearly 900 people in Oban have been recorded as looking for work in 2021, according to a report to councillors.

The latest available figures dating to February of this year, showed that the total number of people looking for work in Oban was 894.

It included nearly 200 people aged between 18 years old and 24, as well as more than 460 aged between 24 years old and 49.

Some 172 people looking for work were aged between 50 and 59, and 82 aged 60 and over.

The total number of people looking for work across Argyll and Bute was 2,478 – meaning Oban was responsible for nearly a third of the total in an indicator of the town’s size, and its reliance on tourism, hospitality and retail.

By comparison, there were were 482 people looking for work in Helensburgh, 465 in Dunoon, 375 in Campbeltown and 262 in Rothesay.

Staff working in Oban Job Centre have been piloting a Video Appointment Service to help customers find work, the report to councillors said.

The update from the Department for Works and Pensions showed that claims for Universal Credit in Argyll and Bute also rose slightly between November and February.

In November there were 6,126 claimants which rose by 135 people to 6,261 in February, according to the data provided to the council by the DWP.

The largest demographic of people looking for work in Argyll and Bute in February were those in the age bracket of 25 to 49.

But there were also 459 people aged between 18 and 24, of which 176 were in Oban.

A spokesperson for the DWP said Jobcentre Plus colleagues were working closely with employers and organisations such as Inspiralba and Argyll and Bute Council in preparation for vacancies, with work coaches looking to match eligible customers to the live vacancies.

Its ‘KickStart’ scheme specifically looks to create new job placements for those age between 16 and 24 on Universalk Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.