The UK government is introducing new digital technology at job centres across the country, including biometric signature capture.
The high-tech equipment will be installed at more than 700 sites to make it easier for people to find work, said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
DWP said that old-fashioned ‘signing-on’, job cards in windows and Full Monty-style dole queues have been consigned to the past as Jobcentres across Britain undergo a digital revolution.
Around 23,000 electronic signing pads, reportedly incorporating biometric signature information capture, will become a new fixture at Jobcentres around the country – signalling an end to the old-fashioned paper booklets that jobseekers carry around and sign every time they visit and saving more than £1 million a year.
Minister for Employment, Esther McVey, said: “Long gone are the Full Monty days of job cards in the windows and queuing for your dole. We’re seeing record employment levels – and with this digital revolution, the government is doing even more to help people into work. Claimants will soon be signing on using electronic pads in a move that will help to improve security, reduce fraud in the welfare system and make the jobseeking process paperless.”
At the same time, free wi-fi and 6,000 digital jobsearch computers will be installed at Jobcentre Plus sites across Britain to give claimants a new opportunity to search and apply for jobs online, using the equipment on site or their own devices.
They will also be able to use the computers to keep on top on their claims, calculate benefits and update their CVs.
Removing the standalone jobpoints, which have been a fixture of Jobcentres for 2 decades, and installing the new computers, will save more than £2 million a year.
The new equipment has already been installed in a number of Jobcentres across the country. According to an article published by the BBC, the equipment has been tested at London Bridge Jobcentre.
The Beeb said that the overall signature has to correspond at least 80% with six sample signatures, which each individual job seeker has to provide the first time they use the device.
The electronic signature pads will be appearing in Jobcentres from this month – with rollout set to be completed by spring next year.
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