MORE than 10,000 Barnsley residents are not in employment but say they want to work, claims Barnsley Council’s chief executive.

Sarah Norman spoke at a recent event with local transport and logistics firms in attendance, where the topic of recruitment challenges was covered.

The workshop explored how best to reduce barriers to employment, with further partnership activity planned as a result.

Sarah, the local authority’s chief executive, and Kathy McArdle, the service director for regeneration and culture were joined by colleagues from the Employment and Skills Service, Enterprising Barnsley, and Public Health teams.

Businesses including GXO, Evri, Portwest, DX Group, and Stanton Logistics also attended with partners from the Inclusive Economy Board, local colleges, schools, and Chamber of Commerce.

Sarah said: “Jobs are about more than just an income.

“They provide purpose and motivation, support good health and create a sense of belonging.

“Seventy-one per cent of working-age people in Barnsley have a job.

“This needs to be higher so our young people have something to aspire to.

“There are over 10,000 people in the borough who are currently unemployed for a range of reasons but say that they want to work.”

Barnsley ranks among the top ten per cent of England’s 333 local authorities based on six indicators of deprivation – including the percentage of households in fuel poverty and Universal Credit claimants – with more people at risk of being pulled into poverty.

One in three children in Barnsley live in poverty, according to the report, while 26.6 per cent of working-age people between 16 and 64 – slightly more than one in four – are not in employment or seeking employment and are therefore deemed ‘economically inactive’.

Kathy added: “We’re committed to supporting investment in our borough and welcome the creation of jobs in growing sectors.

“We know that being in work is about more than just income for our residents.

“This kind of partnership working will improve the opportunities for local people to benefit from employment, and in turn, impact the local economy to benefit everyone.”