“What do you think can be done to improve Blackpool’s poor unemployment levels”


Governments cannot create employment, or at least, not economically. We should be realistic and stop expecting politicians to be able to create full employment.

I do not think there is any quick fix. Blackpool grew as a cheap and cheerful seaside holiday destination for northern mill workers during the Industrial Revolution. When cheap foreign travel became available, Blackpool predictably declined, leaving it with an overstock of low quality bed and breakfast accommodation, and little other industry. It has seen much change in the last few decades, but still has a long way to go. Parking remains a problem, not just for the town centre and shopping, but most visitors now arrive by car, and want the convenience of parking at or very close to their accommodation.

Blackpool hotels generally offer very good value, or at least very low prices, but most of the small hoteliers struggle to stay in business. The process of evolution will continue in that the third rate ones will eventually close, to be replaced with better ones, or car parking for them.

Unfortunately, too many of Blackpool’s older hotels and B&Bs have been converted into DSS hostels or similar. This hinders any regeneration rather than helping it.

On a brighter note, our own business employs 16 people, some of whom commute from outside the Fylde Coast because we cannot find the skilled staff locally. We are almost always open to recruit at least one extra staff member in hat we call a customer facing admin position. At least 90% of the applications we get are just not good enough for a number of reasons, often because of general education levels.

While talking about employment, we always advertise any job vacancies with the Job Centre. We also advertise them on our own websites. The job centre results are usually disappointing, and it seems that many of the better prospects choose to job search via commercial employment agencies. These agencies charge huge fees, so there is a strong disincentive for employers to use them. Job seekers should be aware of this and be prepared to undertake more of their research.

The Job Centre nationally should also market itself better.


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