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Westminster job fair delivers life-changing opportunities for residents and businesses as economy recovers

On Tuesday 28 September, Westminster City Council, in partnership with The Crown Estate, hosted its first in-person job fair since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Businesses and candidates at Westminster Job Fair

Published: 30 September 2021

The event at St Albans House had record attendance with over 35 employers, including Edwardian Hotels, Pret A Manager, Fortnum and Mason, Mace and many others actively engaging with over 300 residents on recruitment opportunities in Westminster.

The fair, led by Westminster Employment Service (WES), has already delivered positive employment outcomes for both residents and businesses.

One resident who has secured a role at Fortnum and Mason said:

The Westminster Job Fair was a life-changing opportunity for me. After being unemployed for three years, I’ve had three interviews since Tuesday’s fair and start in my new role with Fortnum and Mason on Monday. I’m so happy.

A recruitment manager from Edwardian Hotels London said:

The Job Fair was a very positive day for us. So far, we have arranged five interviews for candidates we met at the fair and we have already offered a role to a resident at our newly-opened The Londoner Hotel who is starting next week. For us, being able to engage with local residents in person at job fairs like this is invaluable.

Since the start of 2021, WES has helped local employers to recruit over 400 local residents into a variety of roles. The job fair is just one part of WES’ programme of support and shows the tangible benefits of bringing multiple employers and residents together in one space.    

The strong turnout on the day reflected the Office for National Statistics latest report that the number of job vacancies in the UK soared to over one million in August. This is the first time since records began in 2001 and is now above its pre-pandemic January to March 2020 level.

Industries that were heavily represented at the event included hospitality and construction – sectors that have now fully reopened and have multiple vacancies in Westminster to fill in order to scale back up. Other employers attending included healthcare providers, the City Council and Green Tech companies.

Councillor Matthew Green, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning said:

I’m proud of the work that the Westminster Employment Service does to support our residents into jobs and to help local businesses to secure excellent talent. We were able to run a series of  virtual job fairs throughout the pandemic, but I’m glad that the service has been able to once again bring businesses and residents into a physical location. The pandemic has hit our young people hardest and unemployment among 18-24-year-olds in London is at 15%, the highest rate of any region on the UK. We need to capitalise on the rising number of vacancies in Westminster to ensure that our residents, especially our young people, are helped into good jobs locally.

The Westminster Employment Service is a recruitment service for local residents and businesses. The service partners with Westminster employers to fill a wide range of vacancies so that residents benefit from opportunities on their doorstep. The team is made up of people that care about finding the right jobs for the right people, and making a positive contribution to the community. They work with residents to develop their confidence and skills, and provide access to training, jobs and continued career progression”.