Helping local people into jobs

Providing personalised job support during a pandemic

The Job Shop has worked hard to adapt our services and provide customers with the same levels of personalised 1 to 1 support. Since March 2020, the shop has achieved:
•    1,898 new customers registrations;
•    1,116 supported in to work;
•    99 virtual events hosted with wide range of employers and training providers; and
•    3,551 face-to-face and virtual appointments booked through the new online booking portal.

Supporting young people into work

The youth hub provides an integrated service for all young people aged 16-24 and claiming Universal Credit, enabling job shop advisors and Jobcentre Plus staff to support Coventry’s young people to re-engage with training and the labour market. Since its launch in late July the hub has supported 1,009 young people.


In September 2020, the Department for Work and Pensions Kickstart Scheme was launched. Since its launch, the job shop has been acting as an official ‘gateway’ organisation to support local businesses through the Kickstart application process. The job shop provides funding to employers to create six-month paid job placements for 16-24 years old on universal credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. As a gateway, the job shop secured over 330 vacancies with 15 companies for local young people. Presently there are another 85 live vacancies with over 100 to be released in 2021/22.

Virtual jobs and skills fairs

The job shop has adapted to host regular virtual jobs fairs. These started in May 2020 and have ran every month since except for December 2020 and January 2021. The virtual jobs and skills fairs have involved 22 employers and 20 training providers; reaching some 8,154 video views and 200 customers booked on to Q&A events.

Training for accredited qualifications

The Skills 4 Growth European Social Fund programme has helped 64 small and medium-sized enterprises, leading to accredited training and qualifications for 221 employees meeting their identified skills needs.


The apprenticeship levy, imposed on larger businesses including the Council, helps businesses support their employees’ professional developments, as part of the Government’s levelling up agenda to increase productivity.
This year, the Council has transferred £292,146 of unspent Council apprenticeship levy funds to support smaller, non-levy paying businesses with apprenticeship training costs. This has supported 48 apprentices in 16 businesses in the city.
Discussions have taken place with other large local employers to share practice on how the scheme was developed and set up to achieve the reported results.

Levels of employment maintained

The full impact of the pandemic on the economy has been cushioned by Coronavirus job retention schemes and self-employment income support schemes. As a result, data for Jan-Dec 2020 suggests that 181,400 residents, that is, 71.3% of Coventry residents remain economically active in employment, compared to 73.7% for West Midlands and 75.4% for Great Britain. This is a decline from 73% in Jan-Dec 2019.
There appears to be a gender-divide in this with the pandemic affecting male employment more than female employment: male employment declined sharply from 78.7% in Jan-Dec 2019 to 73.9% in Jan-Dec 2020; compared to a small increase in female employment from 67% to 68.6% in the same period. The decline in male employment diverges from regional and national trends, which only saw a small decline.

Increase in unemployment

There has been an increase in unemployment from 8,800 in Jan-Dec 2019 to 11,300 in Jan-Dec 2020; an increase from 4.6% to 5.9%. This is bigger than the increase regionally and for Great Britain, from 4.8% to 5.3% and 3.9% to 4.6% respectively. At 5.9% the Coventry unemployment rate is now higher than average compared to a group of similar local authority areas (CIPFA near neighbours). Government support schemes will have mitigated the pandemic impact on unemployment, it is hard to predict what the full impact on unemployment will be once support schemes end. From Coventry workplaces there were 57,000 employments on furlough by April 2021 (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). Statistics in May 2021 count 6,800 claims from Coventry residents made to the fourth grant of the self-employment income support scheme amounting to £17.6m in total. Some of these individuals may become unemployed once the schemes end.
As with employment levels, there is a gender divide – male unemployment has increased from 4,600 to 6,300 (from 4.2% to 6.3%), while female unemployment has decreased, from 6.5% to 5.3%. This contrast regional or national trends, where female unemployment has also increased.
The gendered change in unemployment does not appear to be due to women dropping out of the workforce and becoming economically ‘inactive’. Indeed, in 2020, the city saw an increase of 5,200 women becoming economically active (from 71.8% to 72.5%). In contrast, 7,300 men dropped out of the workforce in Coventry entirely (from 82.3% to 79.1%).
The gendered differences may possibly be because of the continuation of a lot of essential key worker jobs where women work, in particular, in health and social care throughout the pandemic. Additionally, national opinion and lifestyle surveys suggests that women have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic, with women spending significantly less time working from home, and more time on unpaid household work and childcare.

Increasing qualification levels

In Jan-Dec 2020, 38.1% of Coventry residents (93,900) were qualified to higher education level (NVQ level 4 or above), up from 36.4% in 2019. This compares to 37.1% regionally, and 43.1% for Great Britain.

qualifications (2)

At the other end of the spectrum, 7.1% of Coventry residents (17,500) have no qualifications; compared to 8.2% for West Midlands and 6.4% for Great Britain. This marks a decrease from 9.1% a year ago.

qualifications (2)

Young people not in education, employment, or training


For the third consecutive year Coventry remains on target below (better than) England, with 5% of young people not in education, employment, or training. This is an improvement on our last two year’s performance from 5.4% to 5.0%. Coventry’s combined figure of 5.0% equates to approximately 370 young people in total.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council has continued to follow young people’s post-16 destinations. For any young person identified as not in education, training, or employment (NEET), they have been supported remotely. Monthly NEET and destination not known figures continue to be very low.