The Bedford Independent has discovered that a new, temporary job centre will be opening in Bedford as part of the government’s ‘response to the pandemic.’
The new centre will on Manton Lane at The Annex, Woodlands and will open once structural changes have been made and recruitment and training have taken place.
A letter from the Minister of Employment, Mims Davies MP, to Mohammad Yasin MP says: “As a result of the scale in demand for our services, the recruitment already undertaken of Work Coaches and the need to accommodate these and our existing staff safely means there is a requirement for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to expand its estate capacity on a temporary basis, allowing us to adhere to social distancing.”
Commenting on the news, Bedford and Kempston MP, Mohammad Yasin, said he was concerned about what this meant for the extent of local job losses that the Government is preparing for.
“The DWP is opening a new job centre as I’m told it anticipates further increases in demand for its services,” said Mr Yasin.
“The Government’s priority should be preventing job losses, but last week, for the fifth time they made announcements on extending business closures without the accompanying business support.
“Businesses are going under and making tough decisions on staff now; they can’t wait for a date convenient for the Government to stage their Budget.
“The Chancellor must keep his promise to do anything it takes to prevent mass job losses and that means extending the furlough scheme, action to address business debt, an extension of the business rates holiday and VAT cut for hospitality, retail and leisure for at least 6 months.”
A statement from the Department of Work and Pensions said: “As a part of our response to the pandemic, DWP is exploring potential options to take premises on a temporary basis in various locations across the country.
“Any new site is temporary and is in addition to existing provision.”