Census reveals 500 people have never worked

HASTINGS was home to the highest proportion of residents who have never worked a day in their lives compared to the rest of Sussex, according to the 2011 Census.

Figures reveal that there were 519 people that had never had a job, which was 0.8 per cent of the town’s working population. This equated to one in 127 residents.

Hastings had double the non-working rate for the whole of the south east, which was 0.4 per cent of the region’s working population.

Figures from the 2011 Census show more than 3,500 people in Sussex declared that they had never picked up a pay cheque.

One in 244 people in Brighton and Hove had not worked in their lives among the city’s working population, the data shows. This equated to 863 residents in total.

Mid Sussex had the lowest proportion of non-workers in the county, being one in 450 not having done a day’s paid employment.

Cllr Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council leader, said he hoped the council’s current Own Grown scheme to get 1,066 young people support from businesses over the next year would help create more opportunities.

He said: “We know the challenges we face in Hastings hence our continuation to work to regenerate the town. We have already seen Saga move into Hastings and the expansion of Hastings Direct. We also plan to create more employment spaces and offices to attract new businesses and help existing ones. At the same time we need to ensure Hastings people have the appropriate skills to take on jobs.”

Almost 200 firms have already made pledges to help young people since Own Grown was launched in February.

Hastings MP Amber Rudd said she was confident work going on in the town to increase the number of apprenticeships available for young people, as well as adult education would help reduce the figure from the 2011 Census.

She said: “I am shocked by the high number of adults in Hastings with no qualifications which reinforces what I and the Government are doing to try and improve education and opportunities to get jobs. Hastings Borough Council has worked well with the Government policies on building on apprenticeships in the area, which has gone up 250 per cent in the last two years. We need to have a rigorous effort to help people get qualifications and get work. I am pleased the Government is continuing to invest in Hastings with the link road and Priory Quarter, bringing jobs and opportunities.”