A WORLD of opportunity was opened up to hundreds of young jobless people in Sheffield.
Out-of-work under-25-year-olds visited a jobs fair designed to tackle youth unemployment in the city.
The fair comes as latest figures reveal the number of young people aged 16 to 24 in the city in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance currently stands at 4,955.
On-the-spot interviews were carried out and vacancies were snapped up at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane football ground.
The invited guests chatted with exhibitors from across retail, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality sectors, as well receiving advice from employment experts.
The event – dubbed The World of Work – was organised by Sheffield’s Jobcentre Plus and backed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Lib Dem MP for Sheffield Hallam.
One of the aims of the day was promoting the benefits of the Government’s £1 billion Youth Contract, which provides employers with wage incentives for hiring young people.
Julie Lindsay, South Yorkshire’s district manager for Jobcentre Plus, said: “It was packed. I fully expect some of the posts to be filled following the day.
“As well as jobs, we had a few apprenticeships on offer and offered people help with their CVs.
“It was about showing it is not doom and gloom, there are jobs out there and the support on offer can make a difference.
“We want to give people the skills and confidence which makes employers want to invest in them.”
Big names such as Asda, Debenhams and Toys R Us and restaurant chain McDonald’s had representatives at the fair, while the Armed Forces and a number of engineering and construction firms were also present.
Mrs Lindsay said: “There was a real cross-section of employers.”
Mr Clegg said: “The aim of the Youth Contract is to get every person earning or learning.
“If you’re under 25 and don’t have a job, the Youth Contract is there to support you.”
n Opinion: P8