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UK job centres set for digital revamp

The UK government is going to pour cash into job centres in hopes of bringing them into the 21st century.

The move comes courtesy of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which claims the digital upgrades will create savings to the tune of £2m each year.

Job centres nationwide will soon be equipped with electronic pads that use biometric technology to register and recognise job-hunter signatures.

These pads are designed to be secure, with the DWP promising safe data storage for job seekers.

Other new additions to the centres include PC workstations and free Wi-Fi.

Baljeet Mahal, customer services manager at the London Bridge Jobcentre where the tech was first tested, said it’s a very different system than two years ago.

We’ve moved away from customers coming in and standing in a queue waiting to be directed,” explained Mahal.

“We don’t have podiums, we don’t have public-access phones. We had boards with paper cards with vacancies on them. We don’t have those anymore.”

The new computers will allow job seekers to track down suitable jobs, update their CVs with the help of Jobcentre staff, and work out their benefits, all using government-approved software.

Mahal explained that while computer use won’t be strictly monitored, using the systems for purposes other than for finding employment would not be allowed if noticed.

There’s been no word on how quickly the digital upgrades will rollout across the nation thus far.

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