A SERIES of sessions aimed at helping people back into work in Bradford South will be held at a church in Wibsey.

St Paul's Church in St Paul's Avenue will host eight free job clubs, starting on Wednesday September 16.

The latest job figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), released earlier this week showed that 2,076 people in Bradford South ward were receiving unemployment benefit.

Members of the church say they wanted to help equip people in the community to find employment in tough economic times so underwent specialised training from UK charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP).

Now they are offering free weekly workshops to boost the job-hunting process for unemployed people by giving them the skills and confidence to find work. The service is open to all regardless of age, gender, faith or background.

Job club manager Janet Jackson, who will be leading the workshops, said: "With more people facing long-term unemployment, there is a real need for a personal service which provides practical and emotional support for people to find work again. CAP Job Clubs is designed to do just this."

St Paul's is one of more than 130 churches of different Christian traditions across the UK who will be running a CAP Job Club. A course on how to budget will be run in parallel with the Job Club course.

The Job Club will offer one-to-one consultations, group support and practical sessions, covering topics such as identifying strengths, CV writing and interview techniques.

Ms Jackson added: "We hope that we can help people to gain the confidence and skills they need to find employment, particularly for those who may have been out of work for a long period of time."

The ONS figures revealed that unemployment in Bradford district was down 30 per cent on this time last year.

They also showed that the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance in Bradford during July fell by 197, compared with June. It showed that 10,316 people claimed unemployment benefit last month, down from 10,513 in June.

Heather Barraclough, employer and partnership manager for Jobcentre Plus in Bradford, said: "It is all looking quite good. It is very much going in the right direction. You get some seasonal variations, but we are pleased everything is going in the right direction."

In Bradford West, the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance increased four to 3,178 last month compared with June, while Keighley remained the same at 1,227.

Bradford East dropped from 2,979 to 2,872, and Shipley from 1,006 to 963.

The Job Club at St Paul's will start with an introductory session on September 16 at 12.45pm, before the club runs a course of eight weekly sessions each Wednesday starting from September 23, between 12.45pm and 3pm. CAP say one in every seven people who do the course has found work.

To find out more about CAP Job Clubs or to book a place, visit capjobclubs.org or ring 0800 3280006.