Jobcentre Plus is part of the UK Department of Work and Pensions, and is one of the world’s largest government employment services. It is available to jobseekers and employers to use, free of charge, to find and fill job vacancies. Before the integration of kiosks, job seekers would search for appropriate vacancies via job cards placed on display boards in Jobcentre Plus branches.
The limitations of job cards
The old system was time consuming for the staff in keeping the boards up to date, it imposed severe constraints on the number of jobs that could be displayed and circulated around the country. Job applicants also found the process frustrating as sometimes positions had already been filled while the cards remained on display.
The need for automation
The Department of Work and Pensions wanted an automated system to improve the job vacancy display process across their network of over 1000 Jobcentre offices. NeoProducts worked with EDS (now part of HP) to deliver a kiosk-based system which would allow users to access all available jobs, freeing staff from having to post the jobs, and allowing for real-time updates so only current vacant positions remained in the system.
Neo designed, manufactured and delivered 9000 Jobpoint kiosks during 2001. The Jobpoint was designed to meet exacting requirements for accessibility. Jobcentre plus wanted the kiosks to have the capability to be operated by standing, seated and wheelchair users. Neo delivered a revolutionary design incorporating a touchscreen offset to one side with room underneath for a wheelchair user to get close. The screen angle and height worked well for users of all sizes and abilities.
A simplified, accessible process
The kiosks have simplified the process of displaying vacancies whilst enhancing the offering to job seekers. Job vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus can now be displayed throughout the country within minutes. Job seekers can use the touchscreen to search by location and category and print out the details of the jobs they want to apply for.
David Oliver of Jobcentre Plus is in no doubt about the difference that the Jobpoint kiosks have made “The Jobpoints are the jewel in the crown of the Modernising Employment Services programme” he said.
The Jobpoint system is one of the largest integrated network of kiosks in the world. It became a blueprint for public employment service systems internationally and helped Jobcentre Plus greatly to improve its service and increase satisfaction amongst job seekers and employers.