An employability service has been launched in Chorley to help unemployed people, aged 25 to 49, to increase their chances of finding work.

With funding from the Department for Work and Pensions, an employability officer is now based at Chorley Council’s civic offices on Union Street, offering help, advice and support to those who have been out of work between six and 12 months.

Anyone from the Chorley borough who thinks they are eligible for the service can drop into the council’s offices to make an appointment with the new Employability Officer where they will get advice on how they can overcome barriers to work as well as getting help with budget management and assistance in improving their skills.

Additionally, people can also be referred to the service by Chorley Jobcentre, a social housing landlord, Chorley Citizens Advice Bureau and Help Direct.

Councillor Terry Brown, whose responsibility includes employment and business at Chorley Council, said: “This is a new service for Chorley Council and as far as we know, it is the first time any council has employed an Employability Officer to target this specific group of people.

“Offering this new service is part of our drive to get more local people who are unemployed back into work.

“We realise the age and unemployment criteria is quite strict but we are targeting this group of people because there is already a lot of support and training available for people under 25 and over 50 but nothing specifically aimed at the age group in between.

“Some people think it is extremely difficult to get back into work but this is not the case and the employability officer’s role will be to look at an individual’s barriers to work and devise a plan on how to overcome those barriers.

“I would strongly recommend that anyone who falls into this criteria should get in touch with the council as soon as possible where they can find out what assistance is available to them.”

Laura Martin is Chorley Council’s new employability officer.

Anyone who thinks they may benefit from her expert advice and assistance can call into Chorley Council’s offices on Union Street or call Chorley Council on 01257 515151 to make an appointment.