The jobs no one wants

June Richards loves being a dinner lady, lollipop lady, and cleaner
June Richards loves being a dinner lady, lollipop lady, and cleaner
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  • 10,000 people are currently unemployed across Lancashire
  • 53 jobs advertised by Lancashire County Council received no applicants
  • Recruiters say low pay and poor hours have historically been obstacles attracting people
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Dozens of jobs are attracting NO applications, despite there being more than 10,000 people unemployed across Lancashire, the Evening Post can reveal.

At Lancashire County Council, out of the 1,406 positions advertised in the past year, 53 received no applications and 149 attracted only one. Jobs which failed to attract any interest included cook, cleaner, maths tutor and commercial and procurement solicitor.

The jobs are all short bursts and I quite like that. It suits me and fits in well with other things I’m doing.

Recruiters said there is a historic problem recruiting in certain sectors because of shifts and pay – but Penwortham gran June Richards, who does three jobs in those areas, says she finds her work rewarding.

Cleaner, lollipop lady and dinner lady are three jobs which have struggled to attract applicants, but June Richards loves doing all of them.

The roles are among 53 advertised by Lancashire County Council in the last year which have failed to attract any candidates, despite thousands of people unemployed across the area. Others include rehab care assistant, educational psychologist and ESOL tutor.

Recruiters say low pay and poor hours have historically been obstacles attracting people, but they are looking at ways to solve the problem.

According to the latest figures, there were 2,824 people in Preston claiming Job Seekers Allowance and Universal Credit in January, and 525 in Leyland. Both figures are down on the same period last year.

June, 56, of Manor Lane, Penwortham, said she would recommend her jobs to anyone considering them, and isn’t ruling out looking for a fourth.

She said: “The jobs are all short bursts and I quite like that. It suits me and fits in well with other things I’m doing.”

From 6am to 8am she cleans at All Hallows Catholic High School in Penwortham, then from 8.30am to 9.05am she is a lollipop lady outside Whitefield Primary School, before working as a welfare assistant at the school. From 3.30pm to 4pm she’s back out manning the school crossing.

She said: “I’ve been doing the crossings now for five years and I wouldn’t change it. I love it and people call me the hub of the community. I always have a chat with the parents and the children love me.

“At Christmas time I’m always inundated with cards and you feel really appreciated, like it’s a very worthwhile job.

“The cleaning job means I have to get up early. I get up at 5am – but the teachers always say hello to me.”

Susan Heaton, manager of Preston and Leyland Job Centre Plus, said her staff carry out ‘myth-busting’ work using experiences of people like June.

She said: “We know some sectors are historically harder to fill because they are low-paid, shift work or low hours and we’ve identified this. We do sector-based work academies where we invite employers to put on information sessions.

“It allows employers to talk about the benefits of working in a particular sector, and we give an open invitation to our claimants to some along. People hear all the negatives about a particular job, but we give employers the chance to talk about the positives of a role.”

A spokesman for the county council said: “Some positions can be hard to recruit for a variety of reasons. The county council is a large employer and the number of adverts that don’t receive a response is a small percentage of the vacancies we advertise overall. When we don’t get a response, we may look at other ways of recruiting or alternatively consider how the role could be delivered in a different way.”