Job centres to adopt digital signing-on pads, PCs and free Wi-Fi

Job centres across the UK are set to go digital, and adopt electronic pads which will allow job seekers to sign on more easily, and eliminate the traditional long queues associated with the job centre.

The electronic pads will recognise the person's signature with biometric software, and job centres will also be providing PCs and a free Wi-Fi network with this digital makeover. The computers, the Beeb reports, will operate on the government's network, and benefit from the same level of security when it comes to defending against potential exploits and attackers.

Currently, this is all being tested at London Bridge Job Centre, and the customer services manager there, Baljeet Mahal, told the BBC: "We've moved away from customers coming in and standing in a queue waiting to be directed."

Mahal also noted that things like the huge boards from the past, the ones with lots of paper cards advertising jobs on them, have all been dispensed with in favour of something more becoming for the 21st Century.

Related: Will the UK government ever fulfil its digital by default plans?

It will also mean that those from the least well-off sections of society, who may not be able to afford an internet connection and/or computer, can use the job centre's machines and at least have some time online to be able to search for gainful employment.

The idea is that not only will all this make life easier for job seekers, but the Department for Work and Pensions also believes that the new computer systems will save around £2 million every year. The system should help the government combat fraud, and eliminate a lot of paperwork of course, freeing staff to do other more productive tasks.

Image Credit: BBC