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Over 80 jobs at risk as supermarket announces closure

Over 80 people are at risk of losing their jobs as the announcement comes that a supermarket will close in Crook in November.

The Co-operative on New Road employs 83 people, who are all at risk of being made redundant when the shop closes on 29th November.

The supermarket has been sold to Lidl, which intends to undergo "extensive works".

A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food said:

I can confirm that we have agreed to sell our food store in Crook to Lidl. The Co-operative Group continually reviews its retail estate, and we have made the decision to focus on smaller convenience stores and sell those trading outlets that do not align with our strategy.

All 83 staff will transfer to the new operator, and it will continue to trade as a Co-operative store until it transfers to Lidl. However, we understand that following completion of the acquisition Lidl intends to undergo extensive works at the store, after which it will be six months before it re-opens. Regrettably, this means that all staff are at risk of redundancy.

The consideration to sell the store is in no way a reflection on the hard work and commitment from colleagues working at the Crook store.

– The Co-operative Food

George Osborne tweets there is 'still much to do'

It has been announced that across the UK, the jobless total is now 468,000 fewer than a year earlier, the largest annual fall in unemployment since 1988.

George Osborne has tweeted that the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) mark another step towards full employment.

However, the North East is the worst area in the UK for unemployment, recording a 1,000 increase in the number of people without a job in the three months to July, suggesting there is still much to do by the UK government.

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132,000 people unemployed in the North East

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that a total of 132,000 people were unemployed in the North East between May and July.

The region's unemployment rate was 9.9% and saw a rise of 0.8% during the period.

It is the worst area in the UK for unemployment, recording a 1,000 increase in the number of people without a job in the three months to July.

However, the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has fallen below one million for the first time in six years.

And across the UK, the jobless total is now 468,000 fewer than a year earlier, the largest annual fall in unemployment since 1988.

Cancer treatment unit on Teesside to close

It has been announced that a cancer treatment unit on Teesside will close by November 2014.

The inpatient haematology unit at Stockton's North Tees Hospital sees about 20 patients a week with a variety of blood diseases.

NHS bosses say they'll have to close the unit after failing to train enough senior doctors.

NHS Trust says up to 350 jobs could be under threat

The County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed around 350 jobs could be affected by changes to some of its services.

We will be seeking to minimise compulsory redundancy through a number of routes including identifying redeployment opportunities,holding vacancies for displaced staff, giving priority application rights to those staff for available jobs, and some may be subject to TUPE transfer arrangements to other employers.

Staff who are affected by any of these consultations are already aware of proposals and involved in discussions around final proposals. Trade Unions for all affected staff are fully engaged in working with us as we move forward.

– County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

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'Hundreds' of redundancies for Co Durham NHS staff

Durham and Darlington NHS Trust has announced proposals to make hundreds of administrative staff, clinicians and nurses redundant, according to the Unite Union.

Unions have been informed that the trust wants to lose 350 staff members. It may also look at reducing agency workers as well.

If the plans went ahead, it would mean the trust losing more than 4% of its workforce.

An official in the Unite Union told ITV Tyne Tees it had come as a "shock" to them.

The trust is expected to release a statement this afternoon.

Lear Corporation to create 100 new jobs in Sunderland

Left to right Cllr Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader Sunderland City Council and Lear Corporation's president Europe and Africa, Gideon Jewel.

US automotive manufacturer Lear Corporation plans to create over 100 new jobs in Sunderland. The vacancies come as part of a multi-million pound investment to more than double the size of its factories.

The factory, which opened in 2011, was Lear's first UK foam manufacturing facility for vehicle seating and combined with its neighbouring seat assembly plant, now employs 420 people.

Lear is extending its plant on Sunderland City Council’s Rainton Bridge Industrial Estate by a further 3,500sq m to house additional production equipment and support growing UK automotive seating foam business. The project has also received £500,000 funding from the Let’s Grow Regional Growth Fund.

Each time I visit this plant I’m impressed with the commitment, pace and results achieved. That was an important part of our decision to invest again in Sunderland for this extension.

Another reason is the strong relationship we have built with our customers, suppliers, and particularly with Sunderland City Council, which has worked alongside us and helped make things happen for us since before we set up here.

– Gideon Jewel, Lear Corporation's president Europe and Africa

Businesses struggle to fill vacancies in the North East

Businesses in the North East are warning they expect to take on fewer workers during the remainder of the year. This comes according to a survey carried out by recruitment company Manpower, which suggests that there are too few skilled workers in the North East to fill the vacancies that are available.

A spokesperson for Manpower has spoken of the key work areas where there are a "substantial number of vacancies":

It may look like a worsening environment for job prospects in the North East, but in fact there are a substantial number of vacancies out there as employers are finding it challenging to obtain the skills needed for the jobs on offer. In Newcastle and the rest of Tyne and Wear, for example, employers are showing a strong need for engineers and other skilled workers in the manufacturing and oil and gas industries, however there is a shortage of candidates with the relevant skills in the areas required - such as design, project delivery, production, testing and inspection.

Outside of the engineering sector, there is demand for IT help desk operators, call centre staff and medical receptionists and secretaries. While employers often favour those with direct experience, obtaining transferable skills in similar, service-orientated roles can be a great boost for those looking for work.

– Amanda White, Operations Manager at Manpower.

James Hick, also from Manpower Group Solutions, says there are still a lot of vacancies in the North East:

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