Jobcentres to get tech refresh

Jobcentresare set to get electronic signing pads and new computers in a technology refresh expected to save over £3 million a year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced today.

Jobseekers’ paper booklets will be replaced with 23,000 of the pads in the 740 jobcentres across the UK between now and spring 2015, equivalent to about 31 per centre.

The move will save over £1 million a year and remove the need for jobseekers to carry around paper booklets to be signed every time they visit, making the job seeking process ‘paperless’, the department said.

The DWP hopes the electronic pads will help to improve security and reduce fraud in the welfare system.

Jobcentres will also be kitted out with free Wi-Fi and 6,000 ‘digital jobsearch’ computers – about eight per centre.

The computers will replace ‘jobpoints’, touch screen standalone computers that allow claimants use to see which vacancies are being advertised on the DWP system.

The department said that this will save an extra £2 million a year.

Claimants will be able to search and apply for jobs online, either using the PCs on site or on their own devices. They will also be able to use the computers to manage their claims, calculate benefits and work on their CVs, according to the DWP.

There will be new ‘tech coaches’ available in jobcentres to help jobseekers get the most out of the new technology and improve their digital literacy.

ComputerworldUK asked the DWP for more information about the equipment, project cost, savings, rollout timetable and tech coaches’ duties, but is yet to receive a response.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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