Opportunities are available on a newly launched website designed to support those in the North who are unemployed due to the pandemic.

The North's economy has been badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak, suffering an estimated decline of 20.7 per cent in GVA between 2019 and Q2 2020.

The NP11 – a group of all 11 Northern local enterprise partnerships – has teamed with software specialist PDMS to launch a pilot innovative online service called SignedUp Skills to help those affected.

A pilot phase will run until the end of 2020, with the aim to develop into a long-term initiative.

The free-to-use platform will make it easier for those across the North to find new employment and training opportunities in their local area.

SignedUp Skills will be a comprehensive resource for accessing real-time vacancies, training courses, and apprenticeships across the region, as well as finding opportunities from throughout the UK.

More than just a traditional online jobs board, the service provides users with an insight into the region’s expanding industries and identify the skills and training most in demand in their communities.

This will include information and signposting towards industries where there is particular demand and important regional sectors.

People from across the North can begin accessing a wealth of employment and training opportunities immediately.

Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the NP11 and Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “With many of our communities throughout the North now under Tier 2 or Tier 3 government restrictions, many people and businesses find themselves facing an uncertain economic future.

“Now more than ever, to achieve a confident North with the skills it needs to thrive, we must work across sectors to build a culture of progression and development in our business that helps both companies and individuals flourish.”

“The North will be integral to the future economic recovery and prosperity of the nation. However, our region’s recovery can only be as strong as the economic strength and security of the people living here.

“To deliver extraordinary economic and social transformation, we must not only invest in the technology and the skills for today, but also for the future."