Final plans have been published to update the DWP’s property estate so services reflect the way people access jobs and the benefits system.

Today’s (5 July) announcement confirms that some smaller jobcentres will merge with larger ones, and others will be co-located with local government premises. It will mean that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be able to offer a more efficient service, while delivering good value for the taxpayer and saving over £140 million a year for the next 10 years.

The support provided to jobseekers will be further strengthened this year as more work coaches are recruited in every nation and region of the UK.

The plans reflect the fact that eight out of ten claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance and 99% of applications for Universal Credit full service claims are now made online. This means that DWP buildings are used much less with 20% of the estate currently underutilised.

Jobcentres and benefit centres are covered by Public Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts which are now coming to an end. In the 20 years since these contracts were signed, the welfare system has undergone large-scale reform.

Since 2010, around 3 million more people are in work, youth unemployment has fallen by 375,000, the employment rate is at a record high and unemployment is at the lowest level since 1975.

damian hinds100x100Damian Hinds, Minster for Employment said:

We will always make sure that people have the support they need to get into and progress within work. These changes reflect the fact that more people access their benefits online resulting in many of our buildings being underused.

We’re merging some offices and locating other jobcentres with local authorities to make sure that the welfare state and our employment support works for those who need it and those who pay for it.

Today’s announcements confirm that DWP plan to:

  • merge 68 smaller jobcentres into larger or underused ones nearby
  • move 4 jobcentres to new sites where we have secured better new premises
  • co-locate around an additional 40 jobcentres with local authorities or other community services to provide joined-up services for the local community with all services in one place
  • move to a network of larger more efficient corporate and back office buildings, opening a new corporate site and 5 new large service centres across the country, in a phased approach starting in 2018 and closing 26 processing or corporate sites
  • close 4 offices where the building is no longer used and standing empty
  • retain almost 800 offices
  • re-organise the corporate centre to make maximum use of 7 regional corporate hubs (in 6 cities), including establishing a new office in central Manchester

The planned changes have been made in consultation with staff taking into account the impact on benefit claimants and DWP staff. The majority of staff will remain in their current offices. Where staff need to move office, most moves are within a short distance but if this is not the case alternative job roles will be offered wherever possible.

Initial plans to reform the DWP estate were published on 26 January 2017. Read the written ministerial statement on DWP estates

It was announced that tenancies would be renegotiated in the 2015 Spending Review

DWP currently uses over 900 buildings around the UK – all of them leased from a range of landlords. The DWP estate covers around 1.5 million square metres across the country, of which 300,000 square metres is under-utilised.

The expiry of the PRIME contract provides DWP with the opportunity to review which offices they need, leaving those that they no longer need at commercially advantageous terms and having the opportunity to negotiate better deals on those they want to use in future.

The savings of over £140 million a year for the next 10 years will be made by a combination of a smaller estate, rent set to market levels, a new service delivery model and maximising space usage.

Where practical, they are co-locating with local authorities in their buildings. These arrangements bring benefits for the department, claimants and the taxpayer. More of the services that customers use are in one place which means that claimants have access a greater breadth of expertise.

In the areas that underwent public consultation and a jobcentre is merging with another, an outreach service will be put in place within the local community to ensure people can access support to get into employment. Vulnerable people will continue to receive home visits and postal claims where it is appropriate to do so.

The majority of staff will remain in their current offices with others moving to another DWP site nearby. There may be some redundancies: but DWP expect these numbers will be around 750 people (less than 1% of our overall staff numbers) and the majority of these will be covered by their voluntary redundancy scheme.

This programme is about reducing under-used space, not reducing staff numbers. The figures take account of 13 sites which are currently still under commercial negotiations and for which we are unable to announce at this point.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

Which Will Be The First College? is now a featured video. 14 hours 8 minutes ago

Which Will Be The First College?

Stefan Drew of https://www.mediaset.co.uk/stefan-drew/ looks at the College of the Future .. # CollegeComm #CollegeoftheFuture Remember the first...

Stefan Drew shared a video in channel. 14 hours 13 minutes ago

Which Will Be The First College?

Stefan Drew of https://www.mediaset.co.uk/stefan-drew/ looks at the College of the Future .. # CollegeComm #CollegeoftheFuture Remember the first...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page