FIRST Jobcentres have been closed across the country - now more than half of those remaining are facing serious capacity problems.
Out of a total of 741 Jobcentres 385 require some form of estates work, as they are unable to deal with increasing numbers of jobseekers, caused by record rises in unemployment. Solihull’s Jobcentre on New Road is one of them.
Last year the Government focused on closing Jobcentres though unemployment figures carried on rising. A total of 57 Jobcentres have been closed since unemployment began to rise and now those that are left are struggling to accommodate the huge demand.
So far 18 sites have had work done costing £1 million in total, an average of £55 500 per Jobcentre. As of yet it is unclear how much work needs to be done on the remaining 367 Jobcentres, but should it carry on at this rate the work could end up costing up to £21 million.
Theresa May, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “The public are paying the price for Labour’s complacent and reckless attitude to tackling unemployment during this recession. They persisted in closing a Jobcentre a week whilst unemployment was rising and are now being forced to shell out millions on expanding their offices as many hit breaking point. Millions of Jobseekers will have to put up with overcrowded Jobcentres whilst the Government sorts out another mess it has created. The public deserve better.”