200 jobs under threat at Jobcentre

Nearly 200 jobs are under threat at Cannock's Jobcentre Plus, it was revealed today.

200 jobs under threat at Jobcentre

Nearly 200 jobs are under threat at Cannock's Jobcentre Plus, it was revealed today.

The office in Beecroft Road is earmarked for closure in the next 12 months as part of the axing of 2,400 benefits jobs nationwide. All 186 employees at Cannock were today told their jobs are at risk.

The Public and Commercial Services union said 17 benefit-processing sites and five contact centres will be shut nationally, mainly over the next year, at a time of rising unemployment.

Union spokesman Richard Simcox said: "We have seen this coming for a while now. It is fair to say that all the jobs at Cannock are under threat."

A benefit delivery centre in Wolverhampton and two benefits processing sites in Birmingham are believed to be unaffected by the closures.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said today: "We can't afford to carry on paying for buildings which aren't fully used.

"Front-line Jobcentre Plus services aren't impacted by this and we've made sure that all the staff affected have the option of moving elsewhere in the organisation."

It is understood staff will be offered voluntary redundancy or transfer to other offices but compulsory redundancy has not been ruled out.

The union said the closures were coming at a time when hundreds of thousands of public sector workers were losing their jobs as a result of the Government's spending cuts.

Jobcentre Plus has already axed more than 10,000 jobs since 2009, the union warned.

The union's general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This is a deeply flawed and dangerous plan that will remove vital support to jobseekers and people claiming welfare at precisely the time the Government's ideological cuts will throw more people out of work."

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