The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is launching an interactive TV service that will allow the unemployed to search for jobs from home.
The initiative is part of a strategy to promote Jobcentre Plus (JCP) as a professional and modern service. Last year the DUP appointed Mediaedge:cia to a strategy brief to improve perceptions of the employment service (MW June 15, 2006).
The service is a partnership between JCP and Looking Local, the government digital TV portal,which gives all viewers access to a real-time, national job search engine. All 400,000 jobs advertised by Jobcentres in the UK will be available to view.
Results can be refined by location and whether posts are temporary or permanent. It is not thought users will be able to apply through their remote controls at present.
Employment minister Jim Murphy says the service will enable job seekers an extra channel to view jobs including 800 JCP offices, by phone and online. He says more homes have access to digital TV, at over 70%, than broadband.
DUP is thought to be the first government department to make use of Looking Local, although several local councils have launched services.
Last year, Wrexham County Borough Council launched an interactive TV service with Looking Local, which allows residents to renew their library books and complain about council services via their remote controls (MW November 2, 2006).
Looking Local was formed by the council and government technology body DigiTV.