One in 10 jobcentres in UK to close
Minister for employment Damian Hinds said: "The way the world works has changed rapidly in the last 20 years and the welfare state needs to keep pace," he said. "As more people access their benefits through the internet many of our buildings are underused. We are concentrating our resources on what we know best helps people into work."
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) would not say how many of the 714 offices would close but unions said it would be more than 10% in England, Wales and Scotland.
The DWP did however say that it would merge 78 small Jobcentre Plus offices with larger ones nearby and a further 50 will be "co-located" with local authorities or other community services.
It is looking to close 27 back-office buildings and develop larger procession sites including five new large service centres from 2018.
The government department said it would not put a number on job losses due to the closures but said it would have the option to relocate or take on other roles.
The lack of availability of one to one support could also hinder unemployed people from finding a job. ■