Unemployment group seeing rising numbers

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AN UNEMPLOYMENT support group says the number of people needing help is growing in the gloomy economic climate.

The Hemel Hempstead Enterprise and Work Club, based at South Hill Centre in Cemetery Hill, says 50 people passed through its doors during January alone.

Jeremy Keeley, operations and development manager at the centre, said: “It’s increasing quite considerably at the moment.

“Traditionally it’s less skilled people who find it difficult to work, now it’s middle management we are dealing with.”

The club, which runs from midday to 1.30pm on Fridays, started up in October last year following a year-long trial thanks to cash from the European Social Fund.

Mr Keeley says it is aimed at the ‘unemployed, self-employed, under-employed and people who want to start their own business’.

“We have mentors and advisors who come in,” he said.

Among the tips people get are to update CVs posted on job search websites on a weekly basis, otherwise they drop off the radar, and to use certain keywords that get CVs noticed at employment agencies.

Group member Mark, who finds himself under-employed as a bricklayer, said: “They help you solve your problems – it’s mentoring really.

“They are incredibly sensitive to your needs and problems.”

The club is one of many groups that meet at the centre, ranging from parent and toddler groups to computer and language courses.

To find out more or to use the centre contact Mr Keeley on 01442 234728.