Grantham Jobcentre has become one of the first to ‘go digital’ in a shake-up aimed at consigning old-fashioned ‘signing on’, job cards in windows, and ‘Full Monty’ style dole queues, to the past.
The Grantham branch, which is among those piloting the switch to digital, has already seen the stand alone job points which have been a fixture for two decades, replaced with new digital jobsearch computers.
As well as searching and applying for jobs, visitors to the Jobcentre can use the computers to keep on top of their claims, calculate benefits, and update their CVs. Moreover, free WiFi on site means they can also access these services via their own devices.
The new computers are among 6,000 to be installed nationally, and will be joined by 23,000 electronic signing on pads. These will signal an end to the old fashioned paper booklets jobseekers carry around and sign every time they visit the Jobcentre. It is estimated that together this new technology will save £3 million a year.
The electronic alternatives also aim to improve security, reduce fraud, and make the jobseeking process paperless.
Esther McVey MP, Minister for Employment, said: “As the economy grows and the jobs market changes, so are Jobcentres. Long gone are the Full Monty days of job cards in the windows and queuing for your dole.”
New tech-coaches will also be on hand in Jobcentres to help jobseekers get the most out of the new technology.
It comes ahead of the introduction of Universal Credit, which will replace the six main out-of-work benefits and tax credits. These will instead come in the form of a single monthly payment.
The Universal Credit has started to be rolled out nationally, and is due to start in South Kesteven on March 23.
* To see the changes yourself, pop into Grantham Jobcentre on 49A Castlegate, or for more information call them on 0845 604 3719.