Skip to main content

Employment Services: Digital Broadcasting

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether digital television job services are available in Wirral; (142970)

(2) what provisions exist for people without access to digital television or the internet to access job search services;

(3) what steps are being taken to advertise the provision of digital television services to those seeking jobs;

(4) what estimate he has made of the average age of people using the digital television job search services;

(5) what level of use of digital television job search services was recorded in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by region.

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide my hon. Friend with the information requested.

Letter from Mel Groves, dated 21 June 2007:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions about jobsearch services available through digital television. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to Lesley Strathie as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus. I am replying on her behalf as Acting Chief Executive.

Jobcentre Plus published a News Release on 2 April 2007 to launch the national job search engine on digital television in partnership with Looking Local, the local government digital TV portal. Looking Local is part of DigiTV, which is a not-for-profit organisation run by, and for, local government. DigiTV is currently working with over 75 Local Authorities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The digital television jobsearch services are available in Wirral. Although Wirral Council are not currently delivering services through DigiTV’s Looking Local, other councils in the area are, and these are accessible across the Wirral.

Customers without digital television or the Internet can access Jobcentre Plus vacancies through channels such as Jobseeker Direct (a telephone job search service), Jobpoints (in all Jobcentre Plus offices), and External Kiosks in third party premises such as libraries. We also offer assisted jobsearch through our Personal Advisers in Jobcentre Plus offices, and some outreach premises, for more disadvantaged customers. In addition, all employment programmes delivered through Jobcentre Plus contain a jobsearch element, for example, Programme Centres offer Internet access, newspapers, and support on the range of jobsearch skills, including CV preparation, completing job applications and interview skills.

Jobcentre Plus has no current plans to advertise or evaluate digital television jobsearch services. The services offered through digital television form part of a wider set of services, available across a range of channels for those seeking work. The two pilots that took place in Kingston-upon-Hull (2003), and London (2005), were evaluated, but did not report on the age range of users.

Looking Local currently averages 270,000 hits per month for jobsearch services but information is not available broken down by region.