New Chichester Jobcentre opens with work coaches offering tailored support
A new temporary Jobcentre for Chichester officially opened its doors to the public last week.
The location, in Southern Gate Office Village off Terminus Road, already has a team of 44 work coaches with more to follow, some of whom recently joined the Department for Work and Pensions as part of a nationwide recruitment drive.
The city’s existing Jobcentre in Southgate, on the corner with Avenue De Chartres, will remain open.
The DWP said the new temporary Jobcentre will give jobseekers more access to support and new opportunities to find work, with work coaches offering one-on-one tailored support for people to find their next role.
Mims Davies, minister for employment, said: “We know this has been a challenging time for many people and that’s why we’re boosting our DWP Jobcentre support in every corner of the UK, including here in Chichester.
“Every customer benefits from a dedicated work coach. They know the local jobs market and work with local businesses to match jobseekers to the latest nearby opportunities.
“It’s brilliant to see our plan for jobs in action, from Kickstart to sector based work academy programmes, our work coaches are there to help people to get thriving and be ready to progress.”
Chichester Southern Gate Office Village Jobcentre Plus is one of the new temporary sites announced by the DWP earlier this year, building on the existing 639 jobcentres across the UK.
The DWP has also undertaken its fastest ever recruitment exercise, recruiting 13,500 work coaches nationally. The extra space will accommodate new work coaches recruited in Chichester, helping more people to transform their lives through tailored employment support.
Sarah Atkinson is one of those new recruits and already part of the team at Chichester.
She said: “I started as a DWP work coach in February 2021 but due to Covid most of my work has been over the phone in a virtual Jobcentre. I am very excited to be working at the new office in Chichester alongside my colleagues, meeting claimants face to face which helps build those personal relationships. I am looking forward to helping my customers back into work during these challenging times.
“I’ve found the work very rewarding so far, and I believe the help we provide to customers will be enhanced now we’re able to support them in person.”
Liane Newton , who has a career at the DWP spanning 33 years, is the customer service leader overseeing the new Chichester site.
She said: “The opening of Chichester Jobcentre is a fantastic opportunity to help grow local businesses across Chichester and surrounding areas. It will be a centre for collaboration with like-minded people and experts with the aim of helping citizens returning to work, which will help play a part in our economic recovery from COVID.
“Our team of work coaches are motivated, passionate and skilled individuals who are fully committed to making a difference to all our customers.”