Chocolate lovers in Burton and South Derbyshire can now spend their day surrounded by the sweet treat as a recruitment drive is launched in the run up to Christmas.

Derbyshire chocolate-maker Thorntons is looking to take on hundreds of people ready for the festive season - which is traditionally the busiest time of year.

It may still be the middle of summer but Thorntons is set to start working with the JobCentre Plus to fill around up to 400 seasonal roles at its Derbyshire factory, in Somercotes.

According to JobCentre Plus, the recruitment drive is expected to start in August and will be for a range of production roles at the business.

It is just one of a number of campaigns JobCentre Plus is set to be involved in as various companies prepare to bolster their workforce ahead of the festive season.

JobCentre Plus is looking for people to work at Thorntons

Jackie Thompson, employment partnership leader at Jobcentre Plus in Derby, said: "Believe it or not, many companies are currently recruiting or are planning for their recruitment needs with Christmas in mind."

It comes as new figures show that the number of people looking for work in Derbyshire has fallen for the second consecutive month.

According to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics, the number of people claiming work-related benefit in June stood at 1,759 – a fall of 37, or 2 per cent, on the previous month.

In the rest of the county, the number of people looking for work also fell. In June, the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance stood at 3,795, a fall of 235, or 5.8 per cent, compared to May, making a total across city and county of 5,554.

In June, 2016, the number of people in Derbyshire looking for work stood at 6,543, meaning that 989 people have left the dole queue in the last 12 months.

Mrs Thompson said: "There are a lot of companies out there who collectively are looking to fill a large number of roles. There is also a good range of jobs too - from welders at companies such as JCB and Bombardier to public sector jobs.

"At the end of this month we will be working with Derbyshire Police to fill some positions there and we are working closely with the Armed Forces to raise awareness of careers in the services."

Chris Hobson, director of policy at East Midlands Chamber, welcomed the latest employment figures. He said: "Employment figures nationally and regionally remain positive at a time when the amount of political uncertainty could quite easily have caused them to be less so.

"Leading up to the General Election, business confidence was very high. It will be interesting to see what impact the lack of political stability has on medium to long-term recruitment plans.

"The East Midlands is still proving robust, with a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the country. But if this trend continues, then there's a likelihood that it could have a negative impact on employment figures."

If this isn't the job for you, there are thousands available by logging on to