Unemployment in Pembrokeshire is dropping year on year according to official figures and jobseekers are being encouraged to apply for seasonal posts in the hope they lead to more permanent employment.

Government statistics show that Pembrokeshire has seen a drop in claimants to benefits by 6 per cent since this time last year. For the county’s age 50+ benefit claimants, the unemployed figure is down by 14 per cent in the same period.

Jobseekers in Pembrokeshire are being encouraged to apply for seasonal positions.

“As Pembrokeshire approaches the winter months, we see many of our hospitality and tourism sector employees being laid off but normally with the expectation of being invited back as those businesses gear up for spring season with school holidays and the Easter period specifically in mind,” said Fred Hatton of the Employer and Partnership Team in Pembroke Dock.

He added that many of the county’s large retail outlets boost their number of employees in a Festive/Christmas season recruitment drive to cater for increased customer footfall during this time.

Pembrokeshire Jobcentres are currently displaying festive jobs which have been gleaned from traditional job websites and company websites.

Mr Hatton added that many new employees taken on for short term contracts, especially the ones who work hard and impress the managers with their work ethic, will be retained in a permanent role or kept on a waiting list for future offers of a permanent position.

“Those who would like to continue earning all year round, they should consider these opportunities as a means to do so in order to provide for themselves and their families as appropriate,” he said.

During the period up to the New Year, the county’s Jobcentres are continuing to support Bluestone’s recruitment drive for staff to cater for their expansion programme and it is anticipated that this will continue into the New Year.

Jobseekers should use the Bluestone website and the careers pages specifically to see the range of vacancies available.

“It is important to stress that, as with the careers pages of any business, it is important to carry out this search on a regular basis as the jobs being advertised change frequently,” said Mr Hatton.

He said that the Department for Work and Pensions had been very successful in recently advertising Civil Service jobs for jobcentres and the Pembroke Dock Service Centre.

These vacancies are currently closed, but any jobseeker interested in becoming a civil servant in any of the national departments should look at Civil Service jobs on the gov.uk website.

Mr Hatton added that the Hywel Dda University Health Board HR team has teamed up with the DWP to provide potential applicants with information sessions to help make the application to work in the NHS a success.

The health board aims to attend in jobcentres on a regular basis and also to attend any public jobs fair events. More information can be obtained from the nearest jobcentre or Careers Wales office.

He also said that he hoped that the DWP and the local authority would team up next year to hold jobs fairs to support the care sector, as they did prior to the pandemic.

“As a result of the pandemic, the care of our residents in the community must be seen as a priority; provision of medical care, age care and wellbeing care can be enhanced by those who can work,” said Mr Hatton.

“By doing so, those who are successful in becoming employed will be providing financial support for themselves and their families as well as support for their own health and wellbeing”.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP added: “We are leaving no stone unturned to help people into work, with a record number of employees on payrolls - up nearly 400,000 in the last year alone with 3.9 million more people in work than in 2010.

“With our ambitious welfare reforms, including the expansion of free childcare and extra support for people with health conditions, we are taking long term decisions that will grow the economy and change lives for the better.”