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Two in five on benefits fail to attend work placements

More than two in five of people in Yorkshire on Job Seeker's Allowance fail to attend work placements and skill training arranged for them, according to figures released today.

Two in five on benefits fail to attend work placements

Claimants in Yorkshire and the Humber have been asked to attend work placements and skills training more than 310,000 times since 2011 to help them get a job. But around 130,000 of these referrals, (42 per cent) have not yet been taken up.

Work coaches identify placements and training which are most appropriate for individuals. These include four week placements with businesses and skill training, both of which must be attended in return for benefits. People who do not attend face having their benefits stopped.

The majority of jobseekers do everything they can to find work - and that’s reflected in the record levels of employment we’re seeing across the country. But there are still many claimants our advisers identify who will benefit from extra support to improve their skills, or who could find their feet by spending a few weeks in a workplace - which is why it’s vital that jobseekers work with us and hold up their end of the bargain.

– Esther McVey, Employment Minister

MP questions Whitehall urgency over Hull's City of Culture plans

Hull MP Diana Johnson spoke in Parliament today, asking if there was enough urgency to make the city's City of Culture year a success.

Diana Johnson MP questions Whitehall urgency over Hull's City of Culture plans Credit: Press Association

A year ago today the city was awarded the honour for 2017 and the man in charge of organising it says he is assembling a world class team.

But, Ms. Johnson asked for a debate on how Hull can capitalise on the status with the help of the government:

Can we please now have a debate about whether there’s enough urgency and joined-up thinking across Whitehall to ensure that this national status for Hull is being used as an opportunity to get national arts, culture and sports events to Hull.

Secondly, redress the unfair funding balance between the North and the South.

And thirdly - and most importantly actually - ensure that Hull gets our privately financed rail electrification scheme to Hull by 2017.

– Diana Johnson MP

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CLA warn potential mail delivery changes could cause 'serious harm' to rural people

A group representing landowners across the north of England say that a "threat" by Royal Mail to end its obligation to deliver and collect post six days a week to all UK addresses "would cause serious harm to those who live and work in the countryside".

CLA warn potential mail delivery changes could cause 'serious harm' to rural people Credit: Press Association

The Countryside Landowners Association in the North says the daily post is an "intrinsic part of rural life".

Royal Mail says that increased competition is endangering its government-mandated Universal Service, which guarantees a single price postal service to all UK addresses, including remote rural areas.

The CLA, which represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses in the North, say they will be writing to market regulators, Ofcom, asking them to seriously consider the extension of USO to other operators in the postal market.

The daily post is, and must remain, an intrinsic part of rural life. Without it, rural services, which are already under significant strain, will be seriously undermined. Any suggestion that Royal Mail is seeking to amend, or possibly abolish the Universal Service Obligation (USO) in the future, is a serious threat to everyone living and working in the countryside. We recognise that a company like Royal Mail must seek to generate profit. However, this has to be addressed through achieving fair competition not removing a vital service from rural consumers.

– Dorothy Fairburn, CLA North regional Director

Siemens reveal plans for 'leaner, more efficient' turbine plant

Technology giants Siemens have unveiled plans for what they say will be a "leaner, more efficient" wind turbine plant at Green Port Hull.

Siemens reveal plans for 'leaner, more efficient' turbine plant Credit: Siemens

In new details revealed today, they say the amended plans will improve productivity on the site, allowing it to make 600 blades per year rather than the initially planned 450.

The plans have not affected employment plans though as Siemens say the plant will still directly employ 1,000 people.

" Battle of Orgreave" campaigners call for public inquiry

Campaigners calling for a full public inquiry into allegations of violent policing at Orgeave during the 1984 Miners Strike will stage demonstration today outside the headquarters of the Independent Police Complainst Commission in London.

Police and miners clash in the Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Stars shine at Leeds Xmas Lights switch-on

It may be Novemeber but tonight Leeds was lit up as this year's Christmas lights were turned on.

X-factor winner Sam Bailey was joined by fellow former X factor contestants G4, Leeds boxing Champion Josh Warrington and Calendar's Christine Talbot as thousands braved the cold for the big switch on.

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New gates for historic canal lock

For more than two hundred and fifty years Thornes Lock in West Yorkshire has helped to keep our country moving, but now it is revealing its hidden secrets.

It has been drained by the Canal and River Trust to allow the installation of new gates.

And, instead of walking across it, visitors are being offered the chance to take a peek beneath the water line. Tina Gelder reports.

X Factor star lights up Leeds' Xmas countdown

X Factor star Sam Bailey is set to switch on Leeds' Christmas lights this evening.

Calendar's Christine Talbot interviews X Factor star Sam Bailey ahead of the Leeds Christmas Lights switch-on Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Last year’s winner of ITV's X Factor, Sam Bailey is the headline performer at this year’s switch-on in front of an estimated 15,000 strong crowd. Joining Sam tonight are former X Factor finalists G4, who will give their first public live performance as a group since 2007.

Hosted by Heart presenters Dixie, Emma and Rich Williams, the event will also mark the beginning of an exciting time for G4 frontman Jonathan Ansell, who is set to star as Prince Charming in the Leeds Carriageworks Christmas pantomime production of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ from December.

Major milestone reached for Bradford's Broadway

A shopping development in Bradford marked a major milestone today with a topping out ceremony. Work started in January this year on The Broadway and developers Westfield say it is on time and on budget. Today's event marked the moment when the building reaches its highest point of construction. The £260 million project is due to be completed at the end of next year.

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