Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Two Job Centres Are to Be Axed

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Two Job Centres Are to Be Axed

Article excerpt

TWO North East job centres are being axed as part of nationwide shake-up to slash millions from the welfare department's bill.

The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed plans to merge staff and facilities from 68 smaller offices into larger centres, while others will move into existing government locations.

As a result, Jobcentre Plus branches in Newcastle and Whitley Bay will close.

Staff in Condercum House, Newcastle will move into the nearby office on Cathedral Square, and it is expected around 13 employees at Whitley Bay will be based at the North Shields office from autumn this year.

The DWP believe the overhaul will offer a more efficient service, and save taxpayers more than PS140 million per year over the next decade.

With eight out of 10 Jobseeker's Allowance claims and 99% of Universal Credit Full Service claims processed online, the department say 20% of their estate is currently under-utilised.

Damian Hinds, minister for employment, said: "We will always make sure that people have the support they need to get into and progress within work. …

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