New jobs and extra hours for borough

Clarkes Department Store, Grosvenor Road, Ripley. Pictured is store manager David Clarke.
Clarkes Department Store, Grosvenor Road, Ripley. Pictured is store manager David Clarke.

Christmas could be bringing a swathe of new jobs to Amber Valley as many employers say they will be hiring more seasonal staff.

According to new figures from the Chamber of Commerce for Derbyshire, 22 per cent of its members in the Amber Valley area say they plan to hire new people in the run up to Christmas.

Most of the vacancies are expected to be temporary for the festive period.

Chamber chief executive George Cowcher said: “The run-up to Christmas normally has a positive impact on local job figures, as employers look to bring in extra resource to cope with the additional demand over the festive season and we’d expect to see a similar spike in employment over the festive period this year.

“For businesses, it means they can provide an enhanced level of service to their customers and for jobseekers, it gets them back into the workplace – albeit on temporary contracts – which gives them the opportunity to further develop their skills and, in some cases, secure more permanent work with employers which choose to take on temporary staff on a permanent basis.”

The general trend over the past 12-18 months in Ripley has seen unemployment decline steadily and the number of people in work increase, added Mr Cowcher.

Amber Valley saw a substantial drop in the number of Jobseekers between the last quarter of 2012 and the same period in 2013 – from 6,716 to 4,227.

“This is excellent news,” Mr Cowcher added.

“It highlights the fact that the economy has now moved beyond the recovery period, following the last recession, and is starting to show some real signs of momentum.”

But not all employers are quick to take on new hires and are trying to manage the period internally.

David Clarke, director of department store W.E. Clarke on Grosvenor Road, said: “We are managing by increasing the hours of present staff.”

Clarke’s employs around 30 people across its departments, the majority in part time roles, adds Mr Clarke.

“It’s nice to be able to give extra hours to your employees when they want them, and we could all use some extra cash over Christmas.”

It is largely the cost element of training new staff that would put the company off hiring seasonal employees, he added.

“The training element is important – when using experienced people you don’t have to train anyone new, so we often have a few college students who come back to us each year.”

Clarke’s is expecting a very merry sales season, with a larger gift shop for the period, and a wrapping service available.

The store will also be contributing a few stalls to Belper’s Michaelmas market.