Unemployment has risen in both Rushmoor and Hart, latest figures reveal.

The number of people claiming out-of-work benefits in Rushmoor increased by 35 to 600 between January and February, the highest since April 2015.

The jobless figure also rose by 20 to 285 in Hart, the highest since February 2015.

The figures were released by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday (March 15).

But Hazel Prior, employer adviser at Aldershot Job Centre, said the statistics are now not giving a true picture.

She said that it is due to people being able to claim Universal Credit for various reasons, such as those who would have only claimed tax credits, those who are awaiting or appealing a Work Capability Assessment after making a new claim, and those who are only claiming for housing benefit.

Mrs Prior added there are still plenty of job opportunities in the area.

“This month I have been working with Prison Services to recruit for prison officers at HMP Coldingley and HMP Send,” she said.

Hazel Prior of Aldershot Job Centre says there are plenty of job opportunities in the area
Hazel Prior of Aldershot Job Centre says there are plenty of job opportunities in the area

“There are also vacancies for operational support grades, which are roles within the prison but having no contact with prisoners.”

An information day is being held at Aldershot Job Centre on March 31 at 2pm.

'Confidence in the workplace'

Mrs Prior has also worked with Zurich Municipal in Farnborough over the past few years to provide six-month work placements for anyone over the age of 18 who lack office skills and experience or who need extra help to gain confidence in the workplace.

Work placements will start in May, working 35 hours per week at £8.25 per hour.

“These are entry level placements and will offer working in the Underwriting and Sales Support departments,” said Mrs Prior.

'Future employment'

“The work will be meaningful and allow individuals to develop their skills and experience in order to gain future employment.”

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter explaining why they think this opportunity would be of benefit to karen.nunn@uk.zurich.com by April 14.

Bupa Care Homes is holding a recruitment event at Aldershot Job Centre on March 30 for vacancies at Freelands Croft in Church Crookham, while Potens Residential Home in Aldershot is also looking for staff.

'Flexible contracts'

Squires Garden Centre in Farnham is recruiting for a variety of roles, Dunelm needs sales assistants at its new store in Farnborough, and Tesco in Aldershot is looking for delivery drivers and customer assistants on flexible contracts.

For details of all job vacancies in the area, call Mrs Prior on 01252 356511.

Visit Get Hampshire's exclusive jobs platform, Fish 4 Jobs, where you can apply for thousands of other jobs.