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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has extended an outsourcing contract with Capita to run a Scottish programme that uses digital tools to match unemployed people with jobs.
Scotland’s Job Entry: Targeted Support (JETS) programme was launched with Capita in January 2021 to support people who had become unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has so far matched more than 4,000 people with jobs, including roles in hospitality, retail, care and construction sectors, which were hard hit by the Covid-19 lockdowns.
IT-led business services provider Capita will continue to run the programme until March 2023 after a £7.7m, eight-month extension to its contract was agreed.
JETS support includes a CV building service that uses artificial intelligence, online learning and an online action plan shared between advisors and those seeking work.
JETS participants meet every 10 days with their advisers, who help them to become job-ready by improving their knowledge, skills and confidence through digital interview training and access to a Capita-developed online portal.
The UK’s minister for employment, Mims Davies, said: “It’s wonderful to see over 4,000 people across Scotland getting back into work thanks to our DWP JETS scheme.
“The £500m expansion of our Plan for Jobs will continue to deliver for people of all ages across the country, giving them tailored support to find that next opportunity and really progress in their careers.”
Andy Start, CEO of Capita Public Service, said: “Every person Capita has supported into a new role, through our digital tools and our advisers, is now pursuing a rewarding career and developing their expertise further.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is not over, and as we continue the rebuilding process, programmes like JETS are vital to securing the UK’s economic recovery. We will continue to use our extensive experience of delivering digital services, which support diverse groups of vulnerable people, to fulfil our role on the JETS programme in Scotland.”
One JETS participant who has found work through the scheme said: “The JETS mock interviews and online training courses really helped to build my confidence.”
According to the DWP: “JETS in Scotland provides a light touch provision that includes, but is not limited to, transferable skills analysis, CV writing, job search, interview skills [and] self-efficacy/confidence building in the current environment. [It] takes a sector-based approach and helps potential participants.”
Separately, Capita recently won a contract with Transport for London to expand the capital’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ), which saw it migrate the existing IT infrastructure and applications to the cloud. Capita has operated the ULEZ since 2019.
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