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24-hour Jobcentres

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Minister for Employment, Tessa Jowell, today agreed to extend the contract with the Employment Service's IT partner, EDS in a deal worth over £500 million. The IT modernisation programme will transform the way Jobcentres do business with jobseekers and employers.

Ms Jowell said:

"The Employment Service Internet job bank is one of the largest in the world with round the clock access to over 300,000 vacancies across Britain, Europe and other countries. For the first time, Jobcentres and jobseekers will have national access to every vacancy held by the Employment Service. The programme will also allow employers to advertise their vacancies throughout the UK.

"This is a clear demonstration that the promises made in the Modernising Government agenda for 24 hour electronic access to public services, can and will be delivered."

As well as providing all 1,000 Jobcentres with new computers and supporting software, during 2001 the modernisation programme will deliver:

  • touch screen kiosks in all Jobcentres to search the Employment Service Internet job bank;
  • a national vacancy taking and handling service for employers provided through a single national telephone number; and
  • a redesigned Employment Service website with fresh content and easy navigation.

Ms Jowell added:

"The modernisation programme will ensure that the new Working Age agency will have a job broking service second to none. More jobseekers will have access to more vacancies than ever before resulting in significant improvements to the operation of the UK's labour market."

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