Recorder editor Michael Adkins asks whether an alternative plan for Jobcentres could be found
PUBLISHED: 12:09 01 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:09 01 February 2017
There must be a smarter way to approach the Jobcentre closures.
I understand these types of facilities are not immune to cuts and heed employment minister Damian Hinds’ comments about keeping pace with a changing world.
But you can’t escape the fact this will only heap more cost on the most financially vulnerable people in society.
Under-used, or not, they provide a vital service and while an extra stop on a bus or Tube may not hit the pocket for the employed it can have devastating effects for those out of work.
I’m keen to know what background work has been done to keep a slimmed down version of the Jobcentre in these areas.
Surely there is the option of exploring shared services.
Front counter services, smaller less expensive office space, or even shared business premises could be explored. The Post Office partnership with WHSmith seems to be a success and more and more parts of the country are having counter services for police.
This is not only about job protection or safeguarding the service, it’s about managing a shrinking budget, utilising the internet while maintaining a face-to -face service where possible.
It certainly seems the default position is to close buildings down and merge services.
It’s an obvious choice and a quick win when trying to balance the books. You can see why this option is quickly adopted in government and business but you need to look at the long-term effects on people and explore every possibility.
Moving out of areas should, in my opinion, be a last resort.
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