Jobcentre Plusis a public brand of the UK government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Its 820 branches support people from welfare into work, and help employers to fill vacancies.
There is now a digital champion in each branch, signposting jobseekers to IT training and support, promoting the use of online services and keeping staff informed of digital developments. Digital champions continue to fulfil their primary duties, but 10% of their working time is allocated to this additional role.
People with good ICT skills earn 3-10% more than those without, and 90% of all new jobs require basic internet skills. 86% of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants already use the internet, and 67% have access at home, yet only 17% of applications are made online. DWP wants that figure to be 80% by 2013.
“There hasn’t been a single person who’s failed to get the hang of it. It’s rewarding seeing people go from being apprehensive about turning on a computer to being confident IT users, not only to support their job search but to contact old friends, find out about public services online and organise their social lives.” – Kim Sweeney, Customer Service Manager and Digital Champion at Blackpool North Jobcentre.