Social Security Minister Senator Francis Le Gresley says he is delighted that the JobsFest Employer Incentive has resulted in jobs for more than 50 locally qualified jobseekers.
Under the incentive, which ran from 7 October to 30 November, Social Security paid the wages and social security contributions for eligible jobseekers hired by Jersey businesses.
Over the eight weeks 109 locally-qualified jobseekers, who were registered as actively seeking work throughout 2013, secured roles. Since JobsFest ended, 54 candidates have been hired by employers.
One of those to have gained employment through JobsFest was Alice Cottington. Her role at Hallmark Cards was made permanent following the end of the Jobsfest incentive.
She said: “I had been trying to get a job for over a year with no success. I was a little sceptical when I first heard about JobsFest, but through it I met Alison from Hallmark who gave me the chance to work. I really love working there and have now been offered a permanent job.”
Hallmark proprietor Alison Baker said that JobsFest had been a great way to recruit local staff for her business.
“We are always keen to employ locally qualified people that have the right attitude,” she said. “Initiatives such as JobsFest give businesses the perfect opportunity to meet people like Alice who just need to be given the chance to show what they can do. The financial backing we received allowed us to really focus on training for the initial eight weeks. The whole system is simply brilliant and without this backing, we couldn’t have done it.”
Senator Le Gresley said: “The JobsFest Employer Incentive was designed to get people who had been out of work throughout 2013 into jobs; it was a chance for employers to give motivated jobseekers a chance at no cost to themselves, and was effectively an eight-week job interview.
“I commend the many employers who have now hired in their own right, even after the JobsFest support has ended. The staff have demonstrated the value that they bring to the business, and the business has shown faith in the candidate. We want to create sustainable employment for Islanders and I am delighted that JobsFest has contributed to that.”
As well as the employers incentive, JobsFest included a series of free events designed give jobseekers new skills and fresh inspiration. Originally, 67 events were planned but demand was such that it was increase to 92.
Senator Le Gresley said: “There is evidence that the whole of JobsFest motivated jobseekers and employers during a period when there is normally a lull in the employment market. I am delighted at its success.”