Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Ipswich JobCentre Goes Computers and Rips out Public Phones.

with 13 comments

It’s finally happened here, Ipswich Jobcentre has ripped out the public phones and plans to introduce computers-only jobsearch help.

This is a point made by a Bolton jobseeker in March this year.


A CAMPAIGNER has launched an e-petition against a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) decision to remove customer access phones from Jobcentres.

Robert Inman, aged 21, spent time as a jobseeker and said the phones — which could be used to call potential employers, to speak with the DWP directly or to contact other departments — were vital during his period of unemployment.

He added: “I currently work at Asda, but I was a jobseeker and I used those phones a lot.

“They were free phones, but a lot of the numbers for the jobcentres are 0845 numbers, which people on benefits can’t afford, so the free phones really did help people.”

The DWP said it was planning to “bring Jobcentres into the 21st century” by replacing phones in centres as well as Jobpoint machines, which can be used to browse for available jobs.

Instead there will be 6,000 new computers and Wi-Fi access.

A spokesman said: “This is part of a nationwide programme that sees greater levels of individual support to help claimants get back intoemployment.

“New computers and Wi-Fi access are being installed across Britain’s jobcentres to make sure claimants have the right help to get into work.”

But Mr Inman, from Halliwell, said this might not work for everyone.

He added: “The DWP has said it is part of modernisation, but for many people the phones were what they needed and, as yet, they haven’t been replaced.”

The DWP said more than 80 per cent of claims to Jobseeker’s Allowance are now made online and that as Universal Credit continues to be rolled out, more claimants will be interacting with the department over the internet.

More here.

We hear that for those unable to use computers staff will provide help.

That this is not a cost-cutting measure and a means to bring surveillance into the 21st century

Believe that if you want to!

Written by Andrew Coates

August 26, 2014 at 9:21 am

13 Responses

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  1. Same at XXXXX JCP,although no computers yet.. I asked when they will be installed? “In due time” I also asked if I would be able to print CV;s “Yes,but only on recycled paper” Now that will impress a potential employer! I also asked if they would pay for postage? “On a case by case basis” Can I drop in and use the IAD’s? You need to make an appointment and Yes it is an 0845/0300 Number and there are No phones.


    August 26, 2014 at 9:34 am

  2. The computers (at present a handful) in Ipswich are situated in a place at the entrance next to where very often ‘incidents’ take place. Not exactly designed for serious jobsearching.

    Andrew Coates

    August 26, 2014 at 10:26 am

  3. The DWP seem to think that all the unemployed have the modern technology available to them. I’m still using my windows98 computer that I bought in 2001 and has not been upgraded since. The access to free phones would be far more beneficial to me. In Cardiff they have taken out the phones and job points and up until last week they had not replaced them with anything. I don’t want to be cynical but it appears to me that they just want to make it harder for the unemployed to apply for benefits and phone up employers. Usually when you need to make an enquiry for benefits, someone at the reception desk at a jobcentre would give you a number to ring and point you in the direction of the free phones. Are they now going to give you the number to ring and show you the door?


    August 26, 2014 at 11:07 am

  4. The phones in Ely JCP in Cambridgeshire were ripped out months ago and there is only one IAD at present. There are job points but I recently overheard an adviser say they were on their last legs and were not going to be replaced.

    jj joop

    August 26, 2014 at 11:40 am

  5. Heard on the “inside” grapevine today: the company behind Universal Jobmatch, Monster, is to be ditched. DWP are putting the running of Universal Jobmatch out to tender.

    Mind you, the Guardian predicted this back in March this year:


    Will it really be an improvement with no more fake or duplicated jobs, or will it just be a cosmetic makeover with no more than a change of name?

    Booking an appointment on the few new computers – whenever they are eventually installed, and whatever company is behind the software – is going to prove expensive on 0845/0300 numbers!

    And with no publicly accessible telephones any more, Jobseekers face more delays, congestion, exasperation and expense! The only improvement will be in soaring sanctions!

    Mr Grapevine

    August 26, 2014 at 11:58 am

  6. There are three computers here for a whole jobcentre,two additional desks’ were installed several weeks ago but there is at this point no sign of additional computers.

    some staff are saying you have to use an outside phone,some say you can use a desk phone.these also went about three weeks ago with the individual job points.

    there is totally insufficient services, low numbers of computers.support for people who are given unreasonable expectations by advisors,regardless of someones capabilities. it appears also if maximum disruption is the aim as to new claims for example,and to cause difficulties when problems arise with existing claims,by removing the phone service.


    August 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    • Hmm…sounds just like Seetec Cambridge. They’ve got several thousand clients but only 24 computers. If you don’t get there before 9.30am, you’re screwed if you want to do an internet job search.

      jj joop

      August 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      • In point of fact they tie you down for hours in these places but anybody used to using computers can set up all their stuff and do their job search fairly quickly.

        Andrew Coates

        August 26, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    • Thanks AC.
      And for us you try to defend. What does that mean?

      Is this month holiday season??? Is every one off work including the unemployed???


      August 27, 2014 at 12:33 am

      • I am soon off to my allotment to get some fresh runner beans!

        Andrew Coates

        August 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm

  7. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    August 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm

  8. I spoke recently about CHRIS GRAYLING, I also spoke about how government departments continually breach data protection.

    Well not long after being forced to admit certain facts about prison, Mr C Grayling has been issued with a fine for, yes you guest it breaching the data protection act.


    Your find one article after another (literally thousands) of government DPA breaches year after year so if you needed proof when you say to DWP “no thanks, you cant be trusted” the internet is a wash with it and growing.


    August 27, 2014 at 5:08 am

  9. U.N investigation finally underway.

    The United Nations sparked fury today after launching an unprecedented inquiry into Britain’s treatment of the disabled.

    The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities launched a formal probe into whether this country has committed ‘grave or systemic violations’ of the rights of disabled people.

    The investigation is the latest in a series of interventions into British domestic policy by the United Nations, which have provoked fury among ministers.


    Hey IDS, time to panic…. I really hope the U.N. brings you to account and files formal charges against you and the coalition government as a whole.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    August 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

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