Dole buster goes digital

Staff at Spalding Jobcentre show employers the new computer suite. SG180215-111TW
Staff at Spalding Jobcentre show employers the new computer suite. SG180215-111TW

Job cards in windows and Full Monty-style dole queues are to be a thing of the past in Spalding following the launch of new high-tech equipment at the Jobcentre.

Around 40 employers and agencies attended a breakfast meeting at the offices in Westlode Street on Friday to learn how the new digital facilities can help them fill vacancies.

The launch was one of nine events held across Lincolnshire, aimed to revolutionise the jobseeking process.

Here in South Holland and Deepings unemployment is extraordinarily low – just 1.6 per cent, compared to 3.7 per cent five years ago – but the new technology is hoped to drive the figures even lower.

Brian Cole, district manager, said: “The event was a great success.

“We chose a breakfast meeting because that is the only time you are going to catch busy employees.

“It was the perfect opportunity for our staff to meet employers face-to-face and get more of an idea for what they are looking for before they opened the doors to jobseekers.

“Unemployment across South Holland has been steadily decreasing.

“The improving labour market is focussed on landwork, transport and packaging, as you would expect.

“But this is still excellent news for the jobseekers in the area.

“Employers will be able to put jobs on the system themselves at the Jobcentre, but also access the facilities at home.

“In a rural area like South Holland, this is critical.”

Removing the standalone jobpoints, which have been a fixture of Jobcentres across the country for two decades, and installing the new computers, will save more than £2 million a year and make it easier for jobseekers to find work.

But jobseekers will still be required to attend the Jobcentre as usual to sign on.

Mr Cole said: “That side of things has not changed and jobseekers will also have to come in to work with employment coaches on such things as their CVs.

“But now jobseekers can search for work at home as well as use the computers at the Jobcentre to look for work.

”Events like this are important networking opportunities and allow us to show employees what we have to offer.”