PLANS ON how the Wokingham council aims to cut unemployment figures for the borough have been approved recently.

Councillors have drawn up their own 'hub', set to be in or close to the Wokingham Town Centre, providing support to residents looking for a job.

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The idea of the Hub, costing £80,000 to refurbish and £10,000 per year to run, was approved in a council meeting on March 25, after concerns regarding employment rates rose after the economic hardships caused by the pandemic.

It was revealed that unemployment figures in Wokingham more than doubled over last year, "albeit from a relatively low base rate", the council claimed.

Plans for employment hub to help residents get jobs. Pic by Wokingham Borough Council

Plans for employment hub to help residents get jobs. Pic by Wokingham Borough Council

According to the council, the Department for Work and Pensions, National Careers Service, Wokingham Job Support Centre and the Optalis Supported Employment Service will be involved, providing advice and help.

Cllr Stuart Munro, executive member for business and economic development, said: “Our employment hub will provide a one-stop shop for anyone looking for work in our borough.

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“Rising unemployment is a problem we’ve seen grow in the last year across the country, which may still get worse as we come out of lockdown, so we have stepped up to provide the facilities our residents will need to help them get back into work.”

The plan is for the Hub to be open five days a week, with the potential for drop-in centres. The hub itself is also designed to have enough space for residents to receive training, digital skills training, and access to computers to assist with job searches.