Headlines: November 11th, 1999

David Blunkett, Secretary for Education and Employment has a vision of job seekers tracking down vacancies while they shop at the supermarket, consult the doctor at the surgery, relax in the community centre or drink coffee in the cyber cafe or beer in the pub. The vision will start to become a reality next year with a budget of 50m pounds from the Capital Modernisation Fund. Looking further into the future, vacancies may be viewed through interactive TV.Trials with touch screens connected to the Employment Service vacancy database known as the Labour Market System, or LMS, have proved successful from both a user and technical point of view. Starting next year touch screens will be installed in job centres and also in other places where people have free access. Job seekers in a supermarket or other place remote from the job centre who want advice will be able to speak to an official at the call centre.

It is also planned to create a ‘Learning Bank’ on the Internet. This will contain vacancies, jobseekers’ CVs and information about careers and learning opportunities.