Local job seekers are in line for an early Christmas present, with a new council policy which makes a commitment that certain roles will be for borough residents only.
Under the new scheme, all jobs paid at a salary of between £16,491-£17,500 full time equivalent a year will be open only to residents who pay their council tax to Rochdale Borough Council.
The new initiative is designed to improve the lives of local residents by boosting their employment opportunities. It is also expected to improve the local economy by giving residents more money to spend in local businesses, which in turn may then be able to employ more people.
'Roles would include administrative officers, street operatives and caterers'
The jobs would include roles as diverse as administrative officers, street operatives, cleaners, caretakers, caterers and school crossing patrols.
Councillor Liam O'Rourke, cabinet member for business, skills and employment, said: "Having a job makes a huge difference to people's lives and we want our residents to be the first in the queue when it comes to securing these vital opportunities.
"These jobs are not just a livelihood, but also a first step on the career ladder and the chance to move onto even bigger and better things in the future. Some of the council's senior managers started their careers many years ago in these types of roles.
"And giving our residents the opportunity to earn money also benefits the wider economy, because they have more cash to spend with local businesses."
All council roles are paid at or above £8.45 per hour, which is higher than the national living wage of £7.50 for over 25s.
The jobs will include full and part time jobs, and will be a mix of temporary and permanent roles.
'Council will be working with Employment Links to encourage out of work residents to apply for the jobs'
The council will also be working with Employment Links Partnership (ELP) to help encourage applications from people who may have been out of work for a while and are not confident about applying for jobs. The Employment Links Partnership, which is part of the council, specialises in helping people get job ready, by supporting them with access to training and preparation for interviews.
Hayley Jayne Scholes, who lives in Heywood and works as a school crossing patrol at Harwood Park Primary School, said:
"I think this is a great idea, as it will give local people more opportunities. Before I started this job, I couldn't drive and public transport is expensive, so, with children, being able to get a job locally was really important for me. I was on jobseekers allowance before and I didn't like it. Now, my eldest daughter keeps saying 'you have a really important job mummy' and I think it's great for them to see me going out to work every day. I've also met quite a few parents who are now close friends of mine. The job is not what I expected it to be; it's much better."
The jobs will be advertised online at Greater.jobs and Rochdale Online, at Job Centre Plus, and through Employment links and its networks, including libraries and community centres.