Job centres ‘ill-equipped’ for back-to-work scheme

By staff

Staff at Job Centres were forced to take on more back-to-work schemes than they could deal with, the Conservatives have claimed.

The party said a new report written for ministers reveals a disastrous and under-prepared response to the slew of government initiatives which followed the start of the recession.

Staff were unprepared for the new measures, resources were scarce and there were administrative and computer problems at the Job Centre offices, the Conservatives said.

Citing a recent report for the Department of Work and Pensions by the Policy Studies Institute, the party said the April roll-out of two different government initiatives had put a “strain on resources” at Job Centres.

Services had been delayed due to their rapid introduction and staff were unprepared for the extra demand they would face.

“All the observed offices were perceived to be understaffed, strained further by high staff turnover,” the report read.

Many staff struggled to take on the new responsibility, the report found.
But it accepted that new staff had been brought in and the problem improved somewhat.