Headlines: February 15th, 1999

Employment Service Direct is a new telephone service that helps to take the hassle out of finding a job. For the price of a local call jobseekers can ring 0845 6060234 and have access to over 300,000 vacancies across the UK. Callers can ask for local or national vacancies. This a much quicker and more convenient way of finding a job because it cuts out the visit to the job centre and the wait in the queue. Since the launch on 4 January 1999 it has had a steady flow of calls and many satisfied customers.The introduction of the service is part of Tony Blair’s pledge that 25% of government services will be electronic by 2002.

The system was set up under a joint Employment Service – EDS contract which provides for a partnership approach under the Private Finance Initiative. This new method of contracting links investment in IT to the business benefits actually being delivered so that the IT partner is paid when results are achieved. The IT deal demonstrates how the industry has moved from outsourcing or privatisation to one of partnership working and risk sharing.