Temporary Jobcentre to open in Rochdale Exchange to cope with demand for DWP services

Date published: 19 July 2021

A new temporary Jobcentre will open this autumn in the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre.

Due to the pandemic, there has been an increase in demand for the Department for Work and Pensions’ services, resulting in the new temporary centre.

Located in the former River Island unit, the temporary Jobcentre will accommodate around 20 experienced Work Coaches to support local people looking for a job and Universal Credit claimants.

A spokesperson for the Jobcentre said: “Work Coaches working from all sites, including the new temporary sites, will be able to decide how best to engage with customers, and to choose the best and most appropriate channel.

“Work Coaches will use their knowledge of the customer and the local situation to decide whether or not this should be face-to-face, on the phone or online, bearing in mind the latest guidance on both social distancing and guidance on opening offices in line with the local Covid-19 alert levels.”

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show all 10 boroughs in Greater Manchester have seen yet another increase in those receiving Universal Credit – and it’s a pattern that’s been continuing since the start of the pandemic.

While the rate of increase has massively slowed – huge rises in claimant numbers were seen in the early months of the first lockdown in 2020 – lots of new people are still signing on with 1,786 new claimants seen across Greater Manchester in just one month.

Between May and June, the number of claimants across the north west rose by 4,000 people from 755,400 to 759,400.

Over the same time period – the number of claimants in Rochdale went from 27,586 to 27,811.

While the number of claimants has risen, it’s not necessarily an indication of unemployment levels – most claimants are currently employed and use Universal Credit to ‘top-up’ their income.

The unemployment rate across the North West has decreased since April 2021 by 14,000 people.

If you or someone you know is looking for work, they can contact their local Job Centre to receive advice and support.

Additional reporting: Alice Richardson, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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