New employment hub opens in Blackburn town centre

A new employment hub for the people of Blackburn with Darwen has opened in The Mall.

The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Councilor Suleman Khonat, cut the ribbon of Newground Together’s new Employment Hub in Blackburn town center on Friday, June 24.

The Hub will help Newground Together, part of Together Housing Group, expand their employment support provision making services more accessible for local people.

Located in the Mall Shopping Centre, the Hub will be a drop-in facility for people to visit to access employment and wider support services, supporting people to become work ready and access local job opportunities.

Newground’s Employment Team were joined by representatives from the council, Together Housing Group, Job Center Plus, local businesses and support agencies to celebrate the official opening.

Nic McGrath, Newground Together Director, said: “This is our first Employment Hub and it’s located in the heart of Blackburn town center to ensure we can support as many people as possible.

“Our connections in the borough, with employers and community partners will enable us to offer a wide range of support and match job seekers with local vacancies to help more people into sustained employment.

“Since opening in May over 120 people have received support from the Employment Hub with more than 70 now actively seeking work.

“The Hub has been specifically created to ensure that additional support for people on their journey into employment is readily available, accessible and links directly with employment opportunities with local businesses.

“We hope the Hub helps to make a real difference to the lives of people living in Blackburn with Darwen.”

Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Cllr Khonat, said: “This hub is a brilliant initiative and well located within the Mall.

“I was delighted to meet members of the local business community as well as residents of Blackburn and wider borough; many expressed an interest in using the services to support them back into sustained employment.

“Newground Together are always passionate about community and this excellent endeavor will definitely raise the aspirations of Blackburn with Darwen residents.”

According to 2018 statistics, approximately 142,000 people lived in Blackburn with Darwen, with the borough as a whole having a relatively young age group of 0-19 compared with the national figure.

The borough also has more than 4,900 businesses in a range of sectors but according to government statistics job vacancies are at an all time high.

Kate Hollern MP said: “I was delighted to attend this event. Newground Together have created a fantastic initiative providing an important service to residents of our borough at a time when it is clearly needed.

“Our local businesses need and want to recruit locally so this Hub is well located to serve the needs of both residents of Blackburn with Darwen and businesses.

“The additional support the Hub will provide from CV help to budgeting advice is a much needed tool to help people in the current climate.

“I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the Hub.”

The Hub will be open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm and will provide help with job searching, CV writing, 1-2-1 support such as interview preparation, housing advice, financial & debt advice and skills training to help people find work.

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