Wired pub serves up pints and jobs

In a new initiative to help people find work, virtual job centres could be coming to a pub near you soon

A touch-screen kiosk designed to help job seekers find work will go live today in an unusual location: the George pub in Wedmore, Somerset. The kiosks, known as Jobpoints, are part of a modernisation programme being driven through by the Jobcentre Plus (formerly the Employment Service) in partnership with EDS. The Jobpoints are being installed in every job centre in the UK, a number of supermarkets, prisons -- and now a pub. They allow free access to all the vacancies held by every job centre, which amounts to around 400,000 job vacancies, as well as vacancies from European employment service agencies and other third-party agencies. The launch of the Jobpoint in Wedmore complements the broader 'Switch on Wedmore' project, which aims to give residents access to local and central government information along with local education and health services. Alan Madge, local account manager for Jobcentre Plus in Somerset, said: "Jobpoint terminals always were intended as public service machines... We look forward to consistently delivering an up-to-date service to a rural community which will prove immensely helpful to local job seekers." 'Switch on Wedmore' project director Angela Vivian said: "Jobpoints are a major step in modernising the way that government promotes its services to the public at large. Installing a Jobpoint in a pub puts job-hunting in a social setting, thereby taking away the trouble of visiting the job centre. This means that a greater number of people will be searching the databases, maximising their own opportunities and that of the employer." Charles Cox, EDS client executive for the Office of Government Commerce and Office of the e-Envoy, added: "The scheme shows the potential for delivering public services via a virtual network to practically any location in both the UK and worldwide."

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