Job Centres to get Digital Makeover

The government is investing in a digital revamp of the UK's job centres.

Along with PC work stations and free Wi-Fi, electronic pads that recognise job seekers' signatures will be installed on computers at centres around the UK.

The computers will operate on the government's network and share the same level of security against hacking and viruses.

Balijeet Mahal, Job Centre's customer service manager said: "We've moved away from customers coming in and standing in a queue waiting to be directed.

"We don't have podiums, we don't have public-access phones.

"If you look back to Job Centre Plus from years ago, we had boards with paper cards with vacancies on them - we don't have those anymore."

The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that installing these changes to the computers will save the industry £2m a year.

Business Analyst John Oldroyd said: "I think every organisation is a target for hackers. Security is a high priority for every system we introduced. It's all protected by the Department for Work and Pensions network; there are several firewalls in place.

"The signature pad is used in banks in central Europe. It uses biometric software, which measures how somebody writes their signature.

"It's not concerned so much with the image, but the way you write it - it's very consistent and individual to you like a fingerprint."

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