Unemployed Burnley residents are being urged to apply for the hundreds of jobs available across the town and surrounding areas in the run-up to Christmas.
Jobcentre bosses revealed that a host of national companies with a local presence are desperate to fill hundreds of positions in the coming weeks.
National clothing giant Boohoo.com, which has its headquarters in Burnley, is looking to fill more than 400 positions alone in the next few weeks in its warehouse and contact centre.
Other big name companies in the area looking to take workers on include Exertis, The Range, Marks and Spencer, and Whitehead’s abattoir, owned by supermarket giant Morrison’s.
Cathy Ross, partnership manager for Burnley Jobcentre Plus, said: “The coming weeks will be the busiest time of the year for many retail companies as Christmas approaches.
“Boohoo, in particular, is looking to fill more than 400 positions. The Range is also having a Christmas recruitment drive.
“We are also working with Marks and Spencer which is helping lone parents back into work. Whitehead’s abattoir in Colne, which provides the meat for Morrison’s, is also looking to take on 50 people.
“Now is a really good time for anyone out of work to start applying for some positions in a variety of roles.”
Burnley Jobcentre held a jobs fair recently with six employers recruiting for the Christmas period.
Morrison’s is offering a wide variety of jobs and apprenticeships ranging from general operative, warehouse person and meat packer to the more skilled positions of butchers, trimmers and experienced abattoir staff.
The positive news came as it emerged that out of work benefit claimants in Burnley had risen last month by 22% from the previous year, although Jobcentre bosses said this was skewed by more people moving on to Universal Credit.
In Burnley in September 2,050 people claimed either Job Seeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit – an increase of 370 from the previous year.
Nationally, official employment figures released last week show that unemployment is at 4.3%, the lowest since 1975.